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Critical Comparison of Direct and Indirect Qualitative Research Procedures

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The indirect qualitative research in-depth interview is the norm. The focus group approach requires that we prepare a focus group well in advance to carry out the research. The group is prepared with the help of a selected few research participants. This is more like a brainstorming session. The topic is discussed amongst the focus group with the help of a moderator from amongst the focus group participants only. Subsequently, the group interview is conducted and a final report is prepared by the researcher based on the outcomes of discussion.

On the other hand, the depth interviews imply that one-to-one interviews are held amongst the researcher and the research participants. The researcher is supposed to solicit information from the research participant during the interview and accordingly prepare the databank. Burgess (1982) points out that such interview allows the researcher to probe deeply in order to find out ‘ expansive’ responses, which often helps in uncovering previously unknown details so that a direction is also provided to future researchers. In the indirect method, on the other hand, the research participants encouraged to come out with their own versions and understandings about the issue/s being taken up by the researcher.

The respondents are supposed to ‘ project’ their feelings or attitudes about the situation. Indirect qualitative research, while the in-depth interviews help the researcher in coming out with a thorough knowledge, but it has a couple of disadvantages as well. Conducting an interview is a specialized job in itself, and if the researcher goes for a professional interviewer, that leads to an increase in costs. The quality and comprehensiveness of the in such type are heavily influenced by the competency of the researcher.

Quite often after completing the in-depth interview, if the researcher is able to have lots of data and information, it gives rise to another kind of problem; now it becomes quite an arduous task to tabulate, interpret and analyze the data.  

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