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Generalization and Beyond: What Qualitative Research do we Want?

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abstract Having embarked upon and thereby scrutinized the issue of generalization of qualitative research, we would like to stage a discussion on the issue of quality (criteria), and research more generally, against the backdrop of a recent initiative in Switzerland aimed at implementing a national archive for qualitative research. In specific, we would first like to illuminate that criteria of qualitative research are still largely coined in opposition to quantitative research whereas qualitative research, by means of historical and cultural impediments, gets to inherit an inferior status. The reification of the qualitative - quantitative binary, as we believe, gets to present a hindrance for the formulation of genuine and creative criteria of qualitative research. In particular, as long as qualitative research gets envisioned vis-à-vis its quantitative counterpart (if not to say ‘Goliath’) it appears at least doubtful that genres, styles, tropes or modes of representation more generally which, by means of inherited convention, have been excluded from academic discourse are given credence as proper means for scholarly endeavours.
We would thus like to illustrate the issue of quality criteria for qualitative research on behalf of and in response to a concrete initiative in Switzerland which has been introduced by Eberle in a previous edition of FQS (6 (2), 2005): the proposal for a Swiss centre for qualitative Research, initially being discussed at a conference in 2002. Both positive and negative effects of such an endeavour will be discussed. Provided that a centralized research centre conveys an immanent potency to designate what qualifies as qualitative research, we would like to throw a critical eye towards the risk of prematurely foreclosing the immanent potentialities of .
In attempting to stage a dialogue on the possibilities of cross-fertilization (Serres, 1995), that is, the creative extension of given modes of representation by means of invoking methods, models and approaches from other disciplines, it will be argued that while having an vigilant eye on the issue of quality, the field of qualitative scholars should be equally open to novelty and imaginative innovation. To add some flesh to the argument, some representative examples will be provided in order to display that formerly deviant approaches and methods (which today might appear established) at the time of their inception had to go through the ordeal of the new-comer. Most importantly though, it will be discussed that it is in many ways due to innovations coming from outside of the ancestral tradition that established disciplines were most visibly enabled to extend their modes of knowledge creation.
   
type conference paper (English)
   
keywords
   
name of conference 6th Workshop of the Centre for Qualitative Psychology (Klagenfurt, Österreich)
date of conference 21-10-2005
review not reviewed
   
citation Nentwich, J. C., & Dey, P. (2005). Generalization and Beyond: What Qualitative Research do we Want?. In .