Qualitative archiving: Engaging with epistemological misgivings

Walters, Peter (2009) Qualitative archiving: Engaging with epistemological misgivings. Australian Journal of Social Issues, 44 3: 309-320.

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Author Walters, Peter
Title Qualitative archiving: Engaging with epistemological misgivings
Journal name Australian Journal of Social Issues   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0157-6321
1839-4655
Publication date 2009-03
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status
Volume 44
Issue 3
Start page 309
End page 320
Total pages 12
Editor Deborah Mitchell
Place of publication Strawberry Hills, NSW, Australia
Publisher Australian Council of Social Service
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject 160807 Sociological Methodology and Research Methods
970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society
Abstract In this article it is argued that epistemological concerns about the archiving of qualitative data are mis‑directed. Almost all interpretive data makes either an implicit or explicit claim to knowledge in a broader context than the research project on which it is based. The ability to re‑interpret these data in the light of changing broader contexts is entirely consistent with the project of interpretive and constructivist epistemologies which frame reality as socially constructed and contextually contingent. The increasing reflexivity of qualitative research can only assist the future researcher, providing it serves its aims of articulating and deepening the understanding of the original research environment and the motives of researcher and participant. The decision to re‑interpret data should be one based on professional skill rather than epistemological barriers. Qualitative researchers should view the project as one for the long term, rather than as a short‑term threat to the validity of their primary analysis. These arguments are made separately from ongoing debates about the ethical and confidentiality concerns of qualitative archiving.
Keyword Qualitative archives
Epistemology
Reflexivity
Interpretivism
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Political Science and International Studies Publications
 
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Created: Mon, 22 Mar 2010, 12:30:00 EST by Dr Peter Walters on behalf of School of Political Science & Internat'l Studies