Qualitative methods

Critical practices and prospects from a diverse field

Authored by: Brendan Gough

Handbook of Critical Psychology

Print publication date:  April  2015
Online publication date:  April  2015

Print ISBN: 9781848722187
eBook ISBN: 9781315726526
Adobe ISBN: 9781317537182

10.4324/9781315726526.ch11

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Abstract

Qualitative research in psychology is not inherently critical; in fact, it can (and has been) used to test and confirm theory-driven quantitative research, and to buttress mainstream psychological concepts. But: throughout the history of the discipline, and especially since the late 1960s, qualitative research has often offered alternative ways of doing psychology, of critiquing the discipline, promoting marginalized voices, and prompting social change. These critical interventions have taken myriad forms, and we now have a field of qualitative research which is diverse, fragmented, and rapidly evolving. Before exploring current critical trends in qualitative research, however, it is important to provide a context for the historically recent emergence and proliferation of (critical) qualitative methods.

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