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Evaluating qualitative research in social geography: establishing 'rigour' in interview analysis

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Abstract:

A review of 31 empirical and eighteen substantive papers by qualitative social geographers mainly using in-depth interviews reveals little explicit reference to the principle(s) adopted to enhance 'rigour' and to ensure meaningful inference. Given the modest explicit discussion of evaluative criteria in these papers, a scheme from evaluation research itself is critically reviewed. A set of evaluation questions derived from this review and their application to an empirical piece of qualitative work frame an argument for a general set of criteria rather than rigid rules for assessing qualitative work. Such criteria can serve as anchor points for qualitative evaluation.

Keywords: evaluation; methods; qualitative; social geography

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 1997

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