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The question of meaning — a momentous issue for qualitative research
University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Health and Caring Sciences.
2019 (English)In: International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, ISSN 1748-2623, E-ISSN 1748-2631, Vol. 14, no 1, p. 1-7, article id 1598723Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article, we identify some worrying problems in the contemporary practice of qualitative research, such as the confusion regarding content and meaning in content analysis, the frequent use of standardized methods that avoids philosophy, as well as the description/interpretation dichotomy in empirical research. Since they all arise from a failure to understand the concept of meaning, we return to the question of meaning as the axis that qualitative research pivots around. We examine the meaning of meaning, and how meaning differs from content, and we then ask what consequences this has for research. Even though our analysis is rooted in phenomenological philosophy, we argue that that the ideas that we present are valid for any qualitative research approach. The question of understanding and relating to meaning, we argue, is a momentous issue for qualitative research, where we either continue safeguarding the very essence of qualitative research as dealing with human phenomena, or give it up in favor of more pragmatic and clear-cut methods that seemingly does away with the question of meaning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2019. Vol. 14, no 1, p. 1-7, article id 1598723
Keywords [en]
Qualitative research, meaning, content analysis, phenomenology, method, description, interpretation
National Category
Philosophy
Research subject
Health and Caring Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-82047DOI: 10.1080/17482631.2019.1598723ISI: 000463773100001PubMedID: 30957670OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-82047DiVA, id: diva2:1306107
Available from: 2019-04-23 Created: 2019-04-23 Last updated: 2019-04-23Bibliographically approved

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Dahlberg, Karin

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf