Knight ch. 5

I found Knight’s comparison table of data gathering methods very helpful in thinking about my research project. I had no idea there were so many ways to gather information from the people you’re studying, although all of the methods listed made intuitive sense to me (although of course the more quantitative-sounding ones seemed a bit more artificial). I think that for my research proposal it is fairly clear what methods I will need to use, as most of them don’t suit the situation or would be far too time consuming. I also found the discussion on sample size interesting, because I had always wondered what really passed as “representative” and “legitimate”. I think most people with a higher education will have some sense of what representative samples are, but once you get in to things like ethnography and so on these things become less clear. What is “valid” and “representative”, really? What makes a study matter? Is it the fact that you can, maybe, extrapolate the findings to a larger population, and if you can’t do that do the study’s findings not “count” even though something very interesting might have been uncovered about the group studied? These are all questions I’ll be dealing with as I think about how I would like to go about studying my particular group for my research project proposal.

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