The absent, the hidden and the obscured: reflections on “dark matter” in qualitative research

The absent, the hidden and the obscured: reflections on “dark matter” in qualitative research Qualitative research literature generally ignores the voids that are created and the materials that are suppressed during data analysis and the writing phase. Qualitative studies are usually based on observations and interviews that hold an immense amount of data. These are transformed to a few condensed papers at the final stage. During this process, many of the findings and insights are omitted. This study focuses on the important but neglected topic of data omitted from final research reports by examining two specific aspects of research: (1) reflexivity, its pretensions notwithstanding, that may often suppress and conceal more than it presents and reveals and (2) relevant findings omitted from final reports despite their marked effect on research. We maintain that these suppressed and obscured materials, the “dark matter” of qualitative research, have a marked effect on the research and significantly affect the findings and their structure even if they are not included in the final report. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Quality & Quantity Springer Journals

The absent, the hidden and the obscured: reflections on “dark matter” in qualitative research

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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Subject
Social Sciences, general; Methodology of the Social Sciences; Social Sciences, general
ISSN
0033-5177
eISSN
1573-7845
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11135-011-9650-7
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Qualitative research literature generally ignores the voids that are created and the materials that are suppressed during data analysis and the writing phase. Qualitative studies are usually based on observations and interviews that hold an immense amount of data. These are transformed to a few condensed papers at the final stage. During this process, many of the findings and insights are omitted. This study focuses on the important but neglected topic of data omitted from final research reports by examining two specific aspects of research: (1) reflexivity, its pretensions notwithstanding, that may often suppress and conceal more than it presents and reveals and (2) relevant findings omitted from final reports despite their marked effect on research. We maintain that these suppressed and obscured materials, the “dark matter” of qualitative research, have a marked effect on the research and significantly affect the findings and their structure even if they are not included in the final report.

Journal

Quality & QuantitySpringer Journals

Published: Dec 13, 2011

References

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