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Research and Scholarship

A guide for capstone and thesis students


Qualitative Research: Ethnography, Case Studies, and Action Research

Qualitative Research

Qualitative Research is a method of understanding the big picture or they total situation.  It often explores the why and how decisions are made. and allows flexibility in how the researcher and the participants interact. It entails observation and in depth interviewing.

Disciplines that use qualitative research and analysis include sociology, psychology & human behavior, and business.

Techniques for gathering data include ethnography, focus groups, case studies, and action research.



Video (FMG): Exploring Qualitative Methods

Qualitative research. (2016, October 28). Wikipedia. Retrieved from

Literati Searches on Qualitative research

Written reports of direct and sustained contact observing individuals and cultures.


Introduction. (2008). In K. O'Reilly, Key concepts in ethnography. London, United Kingdom: Sage UK.

Case studies investigate a case (person, group, event or institution) in depth. Collective or comparative case study looks at several case studies to highlight key focal points between studies.



Case study. (2008). In K. O'Reilly, Key concepts in Ethnography. London, United Kingdom: Sage UK.

Literati Search for "case study."

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