In qualitative research, the researcher employs inductive mode of reasoning, allowing the data to “speak.” Some of the approaches applied in qualitative research include participant observation, focus groups, in-depth interviews, content analysis, and ethnography. The core mandate of qualitative research is to illuminate social meaning by studying human behaviour and habits. Qualitative research is critical to policy making and planning whereby it avails descriptive information and understanding of the contexts (Golafshani 2003, p. 600).
Qualitative research is interpretive; it looks at the micro sociological context. Researchers observe natural objects as well as natural occurrences, which they record and interpret using their own subject knowledge (Silverman 2006, p. 2). The core goal of qualitative research is viewing and exploring phenomena in its natural settings. The researchers must interpret raw data from a qualitative study by taking a small sample and formulating in-depth description of the phenomena.
Qualitative researchers pursue capturing life in natural situations. Therefore, qualitative researchers do not set up artificial experiments to avoid interrupting the normal course of life. In addition, qualitative researchers make a few assumptions prior to the study. Openness of the mind is critical when conducting qualitative research (Silverman 2006, p. 4). In qualitative research, situations deemed to be useful since they influence behaviour. Qualitative researchers favour comparatively lengthy and profound involvement in the natural setting. This is inspired by the assertion that social life is complex in its range and variability. Social life has multiple layers of meanings and qualitative research suits best to study the dynamic environment.
Qualitative researchers seek to unearth the meanings that participants attach