No matter the method, social work research should be done with an eye toward informing and improving social work practice, policy, and/or service delivery. You will analyze the results of a qualitative study conducted with inner-city African American youths and determine how the results can be applied to social work practice, policy, or service delivery. Learning about the lives and experiences of vulnerable populations, such as African American inner-city adolescents, can help contribute to enhancing social work practice or policy with such populations.
An important aspect of social work research involves the ethical considerations of a study. As an empowering practice, social work seeks to involve the research participants as much as possible to learn from the voices that are rarely heard or taken to heart. You will read about a qualitative study done with inner-city African American youth. You will then analyze the study for the quality of its data and data collection methods. Also, critically examine the study for ethical situations that the researchers had to address, such as confidentiality issues and even recruitment issues, and reflect on whether they appropriately and positively addressed them, or if something else could have been done to improve the ethical standards of the study. You will learn more about sampling in an upcoming workshop, but this article gives you a preview of sampling issues, as well as how the researchers addressed them. Finally, after reading a chapter on policy-oriented qualitative research, you will apply what you learned from that chapter to the research article.
- In the eBook Qualitative Inquiry and Social Justice, read Chapter 2, “Four Points Concerning Policy-Oriented Qualitative Research,” pages 73–80.
- Read the article “Issues of Conducting Qualitative Research in an Inner-City Community.” SEE FILES
- Write a three-page (minimum) paper that addresses each of the following:
a. How did the authors of the article decide to gather qualitative data to address their research question?
b. How well do you think they supported their decision?
c. What qualitative data collection methods did they use?
d. Do you think those were the best or most effective collection methods, or could other methods have addressed the research question better? Suggest other methods as appropriate, along with a rationale.
e. What ethical issues were involved with the study, and how did the researchers address them? Do you think they addressed them appropriately? If not, what else could they have done and why?
f. What methods did the researchers use to make their data more credible and reliable? Do you think they could have done better? If so, specify how and justify your answer. If not, also provide a scholarly rationale.
g. How could the results or findings be used to inform practice, policy, or service delivery?
h. Identify how at least one of the four points discussed in Qualitative Inquiry and Social Justice’s Chapter 2, “Four Points Concerning Policy-Oriented Qualitative Research,” could be applied to this research article.”
time TV in the early nineties as being ‘young, single, independent, and free from family and work place pressures’ (Elasmar, Hasegawa and Brain, 1999:33. In Gauntlett: 2002, 59). Gauntlett goes on to suggests that the 1990’s saw the use of inoffensive models of masculinity and femininity, which were generally acceptable to the majority of the public, and that this reflected producers’ beliefs that they no longer needed to challenge gender representations (Ibid). In the case of the sitcom Friends the use of male and female models of represnetation were equal. As Gauntlett explains: “The three men (Ross, Chandler and Joey) fit easily within conventional models of masculinity, but are given some characteristics of sensitivity and gentleness, and male-bonding, to make things slightly refreshing. Similarly, the three women (Rachel, Monica and Phoebe) are clearly feminine, whilst being sufficiently intelligent and non-housewifey to seem like acceptable characters for the 1990s. The six were also, of course, originally all characters with a good set of both male and female friendships – i.e. each other – and the friendship circle was a refreshing modern replacement for the traditional family. (It was not long, of course, before they spoilt that by having Ross and Rachel, then – more implausibly – Monica and Chandler fall in love.)” (Gauntlett, p.59) In most soaps there exists a core set of characters who form the firm basis of the on-screen reality. If these core characters were to change too often then the soap loses credibility, and becomes an unreal parallel of the world that it is trying to represent. It is important that themes such as sex and class are presented in a coherent and consistent way. As Gauntlett’s comment on Friends suggests – this is sometimes not the case as the idea of quasi family is ‘quashed’ by the sexual dynamics within the group, thus complicating the original idea. The Concept of Transformation It is a premise of this project that women might be more likely to have experienced closer identification with soaps than men. Although it was beyond the scope of this project to direct an in-depth inquiry into this premise, the questionnaire nevertheless attempted to explore whether there was a gender divide, although this attempt was limited due to the size of the questionnaire. As academic and soap viewer, Danielle Blumenthal, is quoted as saying: Soap operas . . . a connection with other women, beloved to me: my mother, grandmother, aunt, sister . . . a steady stream of modern folktales that symbolically link us together. Memories abound: racing off the schoolbus to catch the last ten minutes of General Hospital; laughing with Grandma over the plotline antics of Days of Our Lives; worrying over the lives of characters I cared about; endless feverish conversations with girlfriends, sister, aunt over who should do what, how, and with whom. (Blumenthal, 1997: 3) In her publication on feminist perspectives and soap operas, Blumenthal refers to soap opera viewing as a ‘specific cultural activity’ questioning how much the activity is an ‘empowering practice–or, “praxis”–for women to engage in.’ (Ibid, p.4). The term praxis, Marxist criticism has been defined as meaning “conscious physical labor directed toward transforming the material world so it will satisfy human needs” (Rothman 1989:170. In Blumenthal, 1997:3). Blumenthal exten>GET ANSWER