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ERIC Number: ED448193
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Nov-27
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Viewing Quantitative Data through Qualitative Eyes.
Parker, D. Randall
The paper examines the various ways that qualitative researchers can use and interpret numbers, official statistics, and other quantitative data. It puts forth the position that qualitative researchers, in their quest for understanding, have too often viewed official statistics with only a cursory or descriptive analysis without deeper reflection or critical analysis as to the assumptions of the persons who collect and sue quantitative data. R. Bogdan and S. Bilen (1998) have presented several ways in which qualitative researchers can think about quantitative data. These ways of viewing numerical data are discussed: (1) the concept of "real" rates is a misnomer; (2) meaning can change when people, objects, or events are singled out for counting; (3) quantification has a temporal dimension; (4) quantification must be understood as a multilevel phenomenon; (5) both the person and his or her motivation for counting affects the meaning; (6) counting influences social processes with the setting that may be in addition to the activities directly related to the counting; and (7) quantification has a strong affective meaning. Taking the time to view quantitative data through qualitative eyes may be a way to guide an inquiry that expands rather than confines understanding. (SLD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A