The research topic that I opted to investigate is the experience of Latina/o immigrants in the United States regarding their protection from racial nativists. In the last two weeks, I learned about eight qualitative research approaches. The different approaches suit different studies, but two or three approaches can be used to investigate one research question. The approaches aid in decision-making regarding other aspects of the study like data collection and analysis methods. Two approaches that can be used to investigate my chosen topic are the basic qualitative inquiry approach and the phenomenology and heuristic inquiry approach.
Basic Qualitative Inquiry Approach
If the research question is to be presented in the form of the basic qualitative inquiry approach, it would read like, “how would you as a Latina/o immigrant describe your experience regarding your protection from racial nativists in the United States?”
The basic/generic qualitative inquiry approach is focused on the exploration and description of experiences regarding a phenomenon, circumstance, event, context or program (Patton, 2014). The approach is also keen on meaning. Words like explore, describe, and experiences are commonly used when the method is applied. The research approach would work in studying my chosen research topic as the topic focuses on exploring the experiences that Latina/o immigrants in the United States have regarding their protection from racial nativists. Participants will be asked to describe their experiences.
Phenomenology and Heuristic Inquiry Approach
If the research question is to be presented in the form of the phenomenology and heuristic inquiry approach, it would read like, “What is your lived experience as a Latina/o immigrant regarding your protection from racial nativists in the United States?”
The approach also fits my research question as it focuses on the description, interpretation, and understanding of meaning and the lived experiences of people (Patton, 2014). The study also aims to understand the lived experience of Latina/o immigrants. The overall goal of the approach fits very well with the research problem and the usefulness of the phenomenology and heuristic inquiry approach.
Although both approaches can be used to study my research topic with ease, the method that best fits the topic is the basic qualitative inquiry approach. The method’s critical focus is on the exploration and description of experiences, and that is what my study will focus solely on doing. The phenomenology approach focuses on other issues like meaning, structure, and essence which will not be tackled in the study. A better re-formulation of the research question using the basic qualitative inquiry approach would be “how would you as a Latina/o immigrant describe your experience in relation to the protection that you receive from racial nativists operating in the United States?”
Direction of Later Procedures
The selected approach will influence procedures that I will adopt later in the research. The influence is because all qualitative research approaches work best with specific procedures compared to other procedures. For example, the methods of data collection, sampling, and data analysis are greatly influenced by the chosen research approach. The choice of a method that does not fit the approach is likely to cause problems. A method of analyzing data that is used when the selected approach is employed is the content analysis approach, and I will utilize the same (Patton, 2014).
Data Collection Tools
Given my choice of approach, the data collection tool that is most appropriate to consider is the interview tool (Patton, 2014). People’s experiences regarding a phenomenon are collected in the basic qualitative approach. Such kind of data can only be best collected using interviews. Other methods like observation and document analysis cannot provide the needed experiential data.
Patton, M.Q. (2014). Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods: Integrating Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications