Analysis of a Qualitative Study
The purpose of this essay is to answer a group of three questions with respect to a recent article by Mogotlane and Ntlangulela (2004) that focused on a qualitative analysis of morbidity and mortality among traditionally circumcised Xhosa males in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. The first questions calls for a detailed explanation of the characteristics of qualitative research. The second question requires a discussion of why the foregoing article complies with these characteristics. Finally, the essay will explain whether or not the research by Mogotlane and Ntlangulela (2004) complies with the criteria for trustworthiness that is implicit in qualitative research.
In describing qualitative research, Babbie (2004) notes that the distinction between qualitative and quantitative data in social and other forms of research is essentially the distinction between numerical and nonnumerical data. Every observation begins as a qualitative observation. Qualitative data can consist of purely verbal descriptions or can include references to previously published statistical studies and the data contained therein. Babbie (2004) states that the qualitative approach seems more aligned with idiographic than with nomothetic explanations. Contained within qualitative research are such strategies as ethnography, case studies, specific forms of field research, content analysis, studies that are naturalistic or based on grounded theory, or consisting of institutional ethnography and participatory observation or action research. Methods may include interviews that are based upon a listing of in-depth questions that are thematic, subject to analysis and verification, and able to be reported in a concise manner.
Generally, Babbie (2004) notes that qualitative research is often associated with some concerns regarding reliability and validity and a degree of subjectivity. Analyz...