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The identity politics of qualitative research: A discourse analytic inter-text

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abstract We intend this paper to be read as an
inter-text between selected FQS articles, which in
one way or another engage in the identity politics
of qualitative research, and the broader discussion
of quality in the social sciences. Subjecting those
texts to a discursive investigation, we highlight how
the semantic scope of what is called "qualitative
research" is decisively delimited by the positivist
associations of "good research". Our overall aim is
to take issue with two binaries that are commonly
employed by qualitative researchers and thus
collide with the evolution of creative/aesthetic
science. Simultaneously, however, we seek to enliven
qualitative research by providing an (ancient
and thus marginal) understanding of research and
of approaches that are still outside the prevailing
canon. To this end, we start by investigating the
binary between quantitative and qualitative research
that is perpetually reified as our colleagues
invoke the positivist quality criteria, subordinating
the qualitative pole to an inferior position. Second,
we provide examples of the ways that qualitative
research is habitually separated from "nonresearch"
such as the arts, journalism and fiction,
ostensibly to justify calling it "scientific". Pondering
how these binaries endow qualitative research with
a limited identity and a supplementary status, we
draw on some postmodern works so as to elaborate
on alternative understandings of "science" and
scientific quality. Finally, we argue for a "politics of
difference" which we envision as a point of origin
for extending qualitative research by multiplying its
genres, styles and tropes.
   
type book chapter (English)
   
keywords
   
project Die Relevanz von Agency im Rahmen gesellschaftlicher Veränderungen. Eine Analyse am Beispiel des Kampfs um das Frauenstimmrecht in Appenzell
book title Generalization in Qualitative Research
date of appearance 2007
publisher Ingeborg Huber Verlag (Tübingen)
series title Qualitative Psychology Nexus V
page(s) 71-101
citation Dey, P., & Nentwich, J. C. (2007). The identity politics of qualitative research: A discourse analytic inter-text. In Generalization in Qualitative Research (pp. 71-101). Tübingen: Ingeborg Huber Verlag.