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Research Methods – Qualitative Methods

2. Theoretical Frameworks

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In this lecture, we think about theoretical frameworks, focusing in particular on: (i) the ability of qualitative methods to explore questions which have more than one answer, which differentiates them from hypothesis-based methods; (ii) defining epistemology as what it is possible to know and ontology as considering what it is to be a person; (iii) understanding the knowledge spectrum as moving from essentialism, through critical realism, to constructivism; (iv) Jowett and Peele’s thematic analysis, which takes a realist stance in research; (v) Braun and Clark’s ‘little q’ and ‘big q’ approach to research; (vi) understanding ‘little q’ as the application of quantitative research principles, such as generalisability and reliability, to qualitative research, typically used when taking a realist stance; (vii) understanding ‘big q’ as the valuation of qualitative research based on its own merits, with a lesser focus on generalisability and objective testing.


In this course, Dr Philippa Carr (University of the West of England) explores qualitative methods. In the first lecture, we think about what qualitative methods are and how they differ from quantitative methods. In the second lecture, we think about theoretical frameworks and how researchers can take different theoretical perspectives. In the third lecture, we think about thematic analysis, specifically the six stages of Braun and Clarke’s reflexive thematic analysis. Next, we think about ethics and data collection, as well as reviewing Sullivan and Gibson’s ‘qualitative kite’. In the fifth and final lecture, we think about how to apply qualitative methods, focusing on social influence and memory.


Dr Philippa Carr is a senior lecturer in qualitative research methods in the Department of Applied Sciences at the University of the West of England. Dr Carr’s research interests are in how the media presents wealth inequality and how public arguments for extreme wealth are used to legitimise inequality. Some of Dr Carr’s recent publications include '‘You come back fighting. That’s what gives you the drive to achieve’: The extraordinary psychological construction of the super-rich in entertainment documentaries' (2021) and 'Getting what you deserve?' (2022).

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APA style

Carr, P. (2022, July 15). Research Methods – Qualitative Methods - Theoretical Frameworks [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Carr, P. "Research Methods – Qualitative Methods – Theoretical Frameworks." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Jul 2022,

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