ERIC Number: EJ848360
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
Rethinking Validity in Qualitative Research from a Social Constructionist Perspective: From "Is This Valid Research?" to "What Is This Research Valid for?"
Aguinaldo, Jeffrey P.
Qualitative Report, v9 n1 p127-136 Mar 2004
This article theorizes the issue of validity from a social constructionist perspective, particularly as it is applied to the assessment of qualitative research. Validity must be interrogated for its discursive function within the social sciences. I will argue that, as a criterion of assessment, validity polices the social science enterprise and thus, functions as a practice of power through the de/legitimation of social knowledge, research practice, and experiential possibilities. This critique will lead into a reformulation of validity that actively recognizes and negotiates its practice of power. Within this reformulation, research findings are conceptualized as representations and should be scrutinized for their realist, critical, deconstructive, and reflexive narrative function. Put simply, assessing qualitative research entails multiple and contradictory readings of its representational failures and successes. Therefore, validity of research is no longer conceived as a determination (i.e., "is valid" versus "is not valid") but a continual process of interrogation. This new framework will be applied to my Master's thesis research that explored domestic violence and relationship abuse among gay males. Implications for research practice are discussed.
Descriptors: Qualitative Research, Validity, Evaluation Criteria, Research Methodology, Social Sciences, Family Violence, Homosexuality
Nova Southeastern University. 3301 College Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317. Tel: 954-262-5389; Fax: 954-262-3970; Web site: http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A