Blag your way in Qualitative Research (in less than 40 minutes)

Can you learn how to blag your way in Qualitative Research (in less than 40 minutes)?

I was recently asked to do a couple of seminar presentations. Both were at different universities but within a few weeks of each other. The brief for both was pretty similar: an informal presentation on qualitative research aimed at postgraduates new to this type of research. The presentations should also appeal to research staff supervising these research postgrads but who were themselves from quantitative backgrounds.

The final criteria, I suppose, was, don’t offend, bore, or excite anyone too much…

Below is what I came up with.



Basically, it is an overview of what I think qualitative research is, why we do it, how to understand it, and how to recognise the poor quality stuff.  In line with the informality, I make it clear that this is my own view and so perhaps not really textbook. I ask people to also remember that I’m a sociologist….

For those that care – I failed to deliver on the promise I made in the title. My presentation ran to 45 minutes. Still – not bad though.


Featured image: ‘confused’ by Tobi Gaulke – Used under CC BY NC ND