Bias in Qualitative Research

I wish that were true that “you cannot let your personal opinions or biases get in the way of your research.” What about the “participatory and advocacy practices” wing of qualitative research? There they believe “the qualitative researcher is not an objective, authoritative, politically neutral observer standing outside and above the text.” Further, “Ideas such as these challenge traditional research that holds firm to a neutral and objective stance.”

Chris MatthewsTo be fair, it also says, “It also calls for the inquirers to report actively in their studies their own personal biases, values, and assumptions” and sets laudable goals like creating research “in which the rights of women, gays, lesbians, racial groups, and different classes in our society need to be considered.” However, the casting aside the need for or aspiration toward neutrality and objectivity is a deal breaker for me. If I want somebody’s political views, I’ll watch Chris Matthews.

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