Qualitative Research: Definition, Characteristics, Purpose, Types, and Procedures

Qualitative Research – In general, in scientific research activities, there are two approaches that are commonly used, namely the quantitative and qualitative approaches. In quantitative studies, studies use raw data in numerical form, which are processed statistically to draw conclusions from hypotheses.

An example of a data collection method for quantitative research is a questionnaire. While the qualitative approach emphasizes the quality aspects of the entity under study. Quoting information on the Ministry of National Education’s website, the qualitative approach has an emic perspective.

The meaning from the emic point of view is a form of qualitative research approach that uses data in the form of narratives, story details, expressions, and construction results from respondents or informants. Data can be obtained from data collection techniques in the form of in-depth interviews and observations.

Definition of Qualitative Research

Qualitative research can be understood as a research method that uses descriptive data in the form of written or spoken language from observable people and actors. This qualitative approach is used to explain and analyze individual or group phenomena, events, social dynamics, attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions.

Therefore, the research process with a qualitative approach begins with the development of basic assumptions. Then associated with the principles of thought used in research. The data collected in the survey is then interpreted.

For example research with a qualitative approach in the field of sociology, it will reveal the social meaning of the phenomenon obtained by the research subject. This topic is usually received from participants or respondents. In this way, researchers with this approach then try to answer how human socio-cultural experience is formed and then given meaning.

Research subjects with a qualitative approach include all aspects or areas of human life, namely humans and all who are influenced by them. Qualitative methods are not as fast in analyzing data as quantitative research.

In a quantitative study, raw data can be processed immediately. However, data in qualitative studies requires a deeper systematic process. Examples of quantitative studies such as answering the question why some people who live on the slopes of a volcano are willing to evacuate if a volcano erupts.

Meanwhile, qualitative research will answer questions that investigate meaning. Such as discussing the meaning of the mountains , disasters, life, and other aspects of those populations who choose not to flee.

Definition of Qualitative Research According to Experts

Based on the description of the definition of a qualitative approach above, based on the theoretical basis, the following is the definition of qualitative research according to experts.

1. Lexy J Moleong

Lexy J. Moleong (2005:6) reveals that qualitative methods aim to understand the phenomena experienced by research subjects. This includes explaining behavior, perceptions, motivations, behavior, etc. as a whole, in terms of language and in a particular natural context, using various natural methods.

2. Sugiyono

Sugiyono (2009: 15) reveals the definition of a qualitative research approach based on the post-positivist philosophy used by researchers to study the state of the main natural objects (not experiments). Means include targeted sampling of data from data sources. The survey method uses triangulation (combination), data analysis is inductive or qualitative in nature, and qualitative findings mean not generalizations.

3. Suryano

Saryono (2010) revealed that qualitative studies are designed to investigate, discover, explain, and explain the qualities or features of social impacts that cannot be explained, measured, or explained by a quantitative approach, namely research.



Characteristics or Characteristics of Qualitative Research

Based on the above understanding, research with a qualitative approach has characteristics or characteristics that are different from other approaches, as follows:

1. Data Sources from the Natural Environment

The resources used in this research usually come from the natural environment, namely various events that occur in social conditions and situations. The research process is carried out through direct interaction through observation, recording, and extracting sources related to the events studied.

2. Analytical Descriptive

The process of collecting data is done by observing, interviewing, analyzing and documenting. If these are not numeric formats, they will be placed on the survey site. Data analysis is in the form of an explanation of the situation under study while the presentation is in the form of an explanation of the story.

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3. Focus on Process

This study combined the required data and information with questions to clarify the process. These questions provide an explanation of the status of activities, procedures, stages, reasons, and interactions that occur during the research process.

4. It is Inductive

In this case the investigation is inductive. That is, it uses discrete but relevant data. This study usually starts in the field. That is, starting with empirical facts that researchers must verify directly in the field.

In this process, the researcher explores the discovery process by recording, analyzing, reporting, and completing research activities. The findings in this field, which are still in the form of theories, principles and concepts, are further developed.

5. Prioritizing Meaning

In qualitative research, transmitted meaning refers to people’s perceptions of the events being studied. For example, the study of the teacher’s role in student success at school. Researchers focused on teachers’ opinions about school students. Look for data, information, and teachers’ opinions about student achievement, support issues, and why students aren’t supported. Researchers also obtained information from students as a comparison material. The accuracy of participant data and information is communicated by researchers so that research results can be interpreted correctly.



Qualitative Research Objectives

According to Rachmat Kriyantono, the purpose of research with a qualitative approach is to explain in detail the phenomena that occur in society by collecting detailed and complete data. This shows that the integrity and depth of the data investigated is very important in this study.

According to Rachmat Kriyantono, the deeper and more thorough the data obtained, the higher the quality of the survey conducted. In practice, the number of objects to be surveyed is usually small because the depth of the data is more important than the amount of data.

Types of Qualitative Research

In practice, there are several types of qualitative research, as follows:

1. Basic

This type of research aims to find something that has been proven in the form of research, without considering the benefits for society. This research was conducted without consideration of practical objectives. Therefore, this research is not intended for the general public.

The main focus of this type of research is the continuity and completeness of science and philosophy. This study did not consider whether it is related to social events. Also, the thinking of this type of researcher may not be thinking about a more specific research perspective.

2. Phenomenology

Phenomenology is a form of research in which a researcher seeks to understand how one or more people experience a phenomenon. This investigative method begins by observing and investigating the focus of the phenomenon under investigation and paying attention to the subjective aspects of the object’s behavior. The researcher then looks for meaningful information or gives meaning to the phenomenon being studied.

3. Verify

This research is a type of research that examines the truth of existing knowledge in the field of education, such as concepts, principles, procedures, discussions, and educational practices.

4. Description

Descriptive investigation is a type of investigation that explains or explains a problem. Descriptive studies aim to describe populations, situations or phenomena accurately and systematically.

5. Exploration

Exploratory research is a type of research that aims to find new or applied knowledge and new problems in the field of education.

6. Ethnography

This study seeks to clarify socio-cultural implications by examining patterns and life interactions between certain socio-cultural groups (groups with the same culture) in a certain space or context.

Ethnography uses two basic concepts as a basis for research: cultural aspects (anthropology) and language (linguistics). This study aims to determine the forms and functions of language in culture in people’s lives. Interpretation of social groups, operating systems, and interactions within them.

7. Case Studies

Case studies are based on events that have occurred. This study looks at the interaction between one variable and another. The aim of this research is to study how events occur systematically over a long period of time. A case study is a type of qualitative research that is conducted under certain circumstances using programmes, activities, events and groups. This study will help get a rough idea of ​​the background, situation, and interactions that occur.

8. Applied

In this type of research, the results tend to be new applications, pure science applications, rather than new forms of science. Researchers who use this type have the property of applying basic research type insights. Goals are practical goals in a particular area. Applied researchers usually want their research results to be useful and beneficial to the general public.

9. Historical Method

This type of historical qualitative research emphasizes historical issues. The focus is on past events and their reconstruction using existing data sources and witnesses. Sources of data from historical studies are historical records, artifacts, oral explanations, and witnesses who can be accounted for. Simply put, you’re looking at a developmental phenomenon that is based on change over time.

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10. Narrative

Narrative This type of research is a type of research that is explained directly orally by telling or telling the contents of the research. This survey is collected through discussions, conversations, or interviews. In short, individual experiences are told to the researcher and again in the researcher’s words.

12. Action

Action research translates knowledge into real-life behavior and studies how to respond to situations on the ground. This research aims to improve processes and understand how good professional teaching practice can improve activity outcomes.

13. Evaluation

In addition, this survey was conducted after another survey and in the form of a new survey. This research is a derivative of applied research. The purpose of this type of research is to assess the success, benefits, usefulness, contribution and feasibility of a particular program, product or activity, and ultimately to improve to increase the results.

Qualitative Research Method Procedures

Data analysis in qualitative research is interpreted as an effort by researchers to systematically search for and organize notes from observations, interviews, and others in order to better understand the case under study and present it as a result. To gain this understanding, the analysis must be continued by trying to find meaning.

The article “Qualitative Data Analysis” by Ahmad Rijali published in the Al Hadharah Journal Volume 17 (2018), edited by UIN Antasari, explains that there are four interrelated phases of qualitative research.

Data analysis in qualitative research begins with the stages of data collection, data reduction and classification, data presentation and drawing conclusions. Qualitative data analysis is integrated into data collection activities, data reduction, data presentation, and drawing conclusions on research results. The description of the four stages of qualitative research is as follows:

1. Data collection

The process of collecting data in qualitative research can be done in various ways by going directly to the field. This can be done through observation or observations, questionnaires, in-depth interviews with survey subjects, documentary surveys, and focus group discussions.

2. Data reduction and data classification

This step filters the raw data. Researchers select the most relevant data to use to support their research. Qualitative data can be obtained from interviews and observations. Therefore, sorting is needed to facilitate data classification. Therefore, the filtered data is categorized as needed. For example, in a survey, data is categorized by informant or survey location category.

3. Data display

After reducing and classifying the data, move to the data view. In this phase of the process, the researcher designs the rows and columns of the qualitative data matrix and determines the type and format of the data to be entered into the metric fields. For example, data is displayed in descriptions, charts, flowcharts, charts, and so on. Data is organized for readability.

4. Draw conclusions

After going through the three processes, the final step is drawing conclusions. The content of the conclusion must include all relevant information found in the research. In addition, the language used to explain conclusions must be simple and easy to understand.



Differences between Qualitative and Quantitative Research

To help readers understand the true meaning of the explanation above, we will discuss a little about the differences between research with qualitative and quantitative approaches. The most basic difference between qualitative and quantitative methods is theory and data flow.

In the quantitative method, research begins with a theory supported by field data. In contrast, in qualitative methods, research starts from field data, and theories are generated from this data to support existing theories. According to Williams (1988), there are five basic views about the difference between a quantitative approach and a qualitative approach. Here are five basic perspectives on differences.

  1. Reality: The quantitative approach regards reality as discrete, concrete, observable and fragmentary. A qualitative approach, on the other hand, reveals a multiple (complex) reality which is the result of construction from a holistic perspective. As a result, qualitative researchers become more specific, believing in generalist objects directly, suspecting real objects, and looking for phenomena.
  2. Interaction: The quantitative approach between the researcher and the subject of his work considers it independent, dualistic, and even mechanistic. The qualitative approach, on the other hand, sees it as an interactive, integral and even participatory process.
  3. General posibility (generalist): The quantitative approach is context and time bound (nomothetic statements), and the qualitative approach is context and time bound (ideographical statements).
  4. Causal probability: Quantitative approach, always separates previous simultaneous actual temporal causes before finally producing results. With a qualitative approach, it is always impossible to separate cause and effect, but not at the same time.
  5. The role of value: Quantitative approach, must be considered valueless and objective, and must remain the same. On the other hand, a qualitative approach never renders anything worthless, even to subjective researchers.