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Generalizability in Qualitative Research: A Tale of Two Traditions

Carminati, Lara (2018) Generalizability in Qualitative Research: A Tale of Two Traditions Qualitative Health Research, 28 (13). pp. 2094-2101.

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Generalizability in qualitative research has been a controversial topic given that interpretivist scholars have resisted the dominant role and mandate of the positivist tradition within social sciences. Aiming to find universal laws, the positivist paradigm has made generalizability a crucial criterion for evaluating the rigor of quantitative research. This positivist echo has led generalizability to acquire a quantitative meaning, inappropriate for describing qualitative studies. The purpose of qualitative research has thus been directed towards providing in-depth explanations and meanings rather than generalizing findings. Through a critical review of empirical and theoretical studies, this commentary seeks to show that in qualitative domains generalizability is possible provided that: first, generalizability is the main objective of the study; second, due precautions concerning the philosophy and terminology selected are taken. Hence, this commentary contributes to the literature on qualitative research by making suggestions for more consistent and unanimous procedures to adopt in qualitative inquiries.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Surrey Business School
Authors :
Date : 25 July 2018
DOI : 10.1177/1049732318788379
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright 2018 SAGE Publications
Uncontrolled Keywords : qualitative and quantitative research, positivist and interpretivist tradition, probabilistic generalizability, theoretical generalizability, transferability
Depositing User : Melanie Hughes
Date Deposited : 09 Aug 2018 10:52
Last Modified : 15 Nov 2018 14:03

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