Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research <p><em>FQS</em> is a peer-reviewed multilingual online journal for qualitative research. <em>FQS</em> issues are published three times a year. Selected single contributions and contributions to the journal's regular features <em>FQS</em> Reviews, <em>FQS</em> Debates, <em>FQS</em> Conferences and <em>FQS</em> Interviews are part of each issue. Additionally, thematic issues are published according to prior agreement with the <em>FQS </em>Editors<em>.</em></p> <p><em>FQS</em> is an <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">open-access</a> journal, so all articles are available free of charge and published under a <a href="fqs/submission/copyright">Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License</a>.</p> <ul> <li class="show">Current Issue: <a href="fqs/issue/current">Current</a></li> <li class="show">Back Issues: <a href="fqs/issue/archive">Archives</a></li> </ul> <p>Please <a href="fqs/user/register">register</a> if you are interested to receive our newsletter, distributed three times per year to inform about new publications and other news, important for qualitative researchers.</p> Institut für Qualitative Forschung, Internationale Akademie Berlin gGmbH en-US Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research 1438-5627 Asynchronous Online Photovoice: Practical Steps and Challenges to Amplify Voice for Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice <p>While researchers initially developed photovoice methodology as a means to hear voices of vulnerable populations and of marginalized experiences, using it in an online format has recently been adapted for application during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this article, I discuss implementing online photovoice in an asynchronous mode. I explore the potential of the methodology for equity, inclusion and social justice through an international study conducted with motherscholars (mothers in academia) who suddenly began guiding their children through online learning during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. I describe the steps in the online photovoice study that was intended to amplify participant voice and the challenges faced. As such, I propose novel insights, practical tips, obstacles to avoid, and critical self-reflective questions for researchers interested in expanding their toolkit for qualitative social justice research.</p> Anna CohenMiller Copyright (c) 2022 Anna CohenMiller 2022-05-30 2022-05-30 23 2 10.17169/fqs-22.2.3860 The Importance of Ethnographic Observation in Grounded Theory Research <p>Even though observational data have contributed to grounded theory research since the method's inception, it is interview data that is most often analyzed. In this article we argue for the greater inclusion of ethnographic observational data in grounded theory research, as this practice offers several benefits. By witnessing and experiencing for oneself the various social processes experienced by and impacting on participants, ethnographic observational data represent both a unique source of data and a way to enhance one's theoretical sensitivity. Additional benefits relate to sampling and recruitment, the development of interview guides, coding, and analysis. As such, conducting ethnographic observations supports grounded theory methods and can enhance the use of interview data to improve the quality of final theory. The writing of observational field notes overlays with traditional grounded theory memoing, compounding the analytical benefits to researchers, while providing an audit trail of the research process, and supporting reflexive practice.</p> Jarrah FitzGerald Jane Mills Copyright (c) 2022 Jarrah FitzGerald, Jane Mills 2022-05-30 2022-05-30 23 2 10.17169/fqs-22.2.3840 Digital Data and Methods as Enlargements of Qualitative Research Processes: Challenges and Potentials Coming From Digital Humanities and Computational Social Sciences <p>Although working with digital data and methods can enlarge qualitative social research, it has not yet opened up much in this direction. In order to facilitate such a move, existing tools from computer and data science can be used, but have to be adapted to the specific needs of qualitative research. It is pivotal to critically analyze not only the digital data, but also the corresponding methods and to reflect on them with regard to research perspectives, in order to continually sound out the limits and possibilities for qualitative social research. In this article, I carve out the contexts of digital humanities and computational social sciences. With an example study following the sociology of knowledge approach to discourse that was realized using a range of digital methods, I model the qualitative research process and show which steps can be digitally enlarged. I then discuss central challenges and derive potentials and possible further developments for digital data and methods. The article is a basis for establishing a creative integration of new digital elements within qualitative research processes. With this, I shed light on the transformation of research questions, fields, methods and epistemologies.</p> Lina Franken Copyright (c) 2022 Lina Franken 2022-05-30 2022-05-30 23 2 10.17169/fqs-22.2.3818 The Political Claim of Oral History: On the Epistemic Silence and the Ontological Deafness of the Majority Society <p>Listening is the art of those who practice oral history. But do we hear what we are told? And can we adequately (re)present the voices of those we have interviewed? In this article, we critically examine this implicit political claim of oral history with the help of empirical case studies. Using interview collections on Dutch (post)colonial history and on the history of Hungarian Roma, we show how the social phenomenon under investigation already became visible in the research situation itself, namely that life narratives of marginalized people were always dependent on the knowledge production by the majority. We explore the dynamics between interviewers and interviewees in order to clarify which framing allows us to (not) hear voices. We thus analyze the epistemic silence and the ontological "deafness" of a society. As a summary, alternative methodological approaches are pointed out and a plea is made that participatory research must also be epistemic research. Our central concern is not to mark/label the "other" but the "own" and its ontological exclusion mechanisms more clearly and to put it on the agenda as an important future field of research.</p> Nicole Immler Eva Kovacs Copyright (c) 2022 Nicole Immler, Eva Kovacs 2022-05-30 2022-05-30 23 2 10.17169/fqs-22.2.3745 Focused Ethnography for Research on Community Development Non-Profit Organisations <p>Focused ethnography is a pragmatic form of ethnography, which is focused on a specific phenomenon and conducts short, intensive fieldwork. In this article, I contribute to the development of focused ethnography as an innovative, efficient, and effective qualitative methodology. In addition to augmenting general definitions and understandings of focused ethnography, I evaluate the appropriateness of this methodology for research on community development non-profit organisations. As such, I unpack the advantages and disadvantages of focused ethnography regarding its convergence with or divergence from community development practice principles including bottom-up programming, active participation, locally led action, inclusion of marginalised groups and local wisdom, devolved decision-making, and social justice agenda. Additionally, I outline which types of research projects situated in community development settings may be suited or unsuitable to a focused ethnographic approach, and provide strategies for enhancing the methodology's alignment with organisational principles.</p> Leanne M. Kelly Copyright (c) 2022 Leanne Kelly 2022-05-30 2022-05-30 23 2 10.17169/fqs-22.2.3811 Digitalization of Social Work Practice: Contrasting Service Structures and Target Groups <p>In the last 10 to 20 years, digitalization processes have permanently changed the fields and practices of social work. The spectrum of digital applications, fields of application, and contexts of use is broad, and digital technologies open up new possibilities in the care and support of addressees as well as in the organization of social work practice. In addition, collaborations within social work organizations and with network partners are changing. In this article we focus on the question of how the digitalization of social work practice is perceived and evaluated from the perspective of social work professionals. To answer this question, nine group discussions were conducted with 30 professionals. The group discussions were analyzed cross-sectionally using the strategy utilized by SCHMIDT (2013) to identify similarities and differences between the organizations surveyed. On the other hand, following the method of thematic coding according to FLICK (2012), individual case analyses and contrasting analyses were conducted to elaborate on particularities and central themes of the field. It became apparent that the perception and evaluation of digitalization processes in the field of social work are related to three topics: 1. target group (children and adolescents vs. seniors), 2. service structure (mobile activities vs. stationary activities), 3. general organizational conditions of the supporting organizations (understanding of digitalization, rules/guidelines).</p> Sabine Klinger Andrea Mayr Susanne Sackl-Sharif Copyright (c) 2022 Sabine Klinger, Susanne Sackl-Sharif, Andrea Mayr 2022-05-30 2022-05-30 23 2 10.17169/fqs-22.2.3851 Reflecting on Race, Gender and Age in Humanitarian-Led Research: Going Beyond Institutional to Individual Positionality <p>Feminist research involves critical analysis of power, including positionality—the multiple identities and power hierarchies surrounding researchers. While analysis of positionalities (referred to as <em>"</em>reflexivity<em>"</em>) is relatively common in certain sectors, in the humanitarian sector, it is almost non-existent. Humanitarian-led research is often assumed to be objective. Despite momentum around decolonising and localising humanitarian aid, which has brought analysis of power sharply into focus, analysis done by humanitarian organisations has largely focused on power hierarchies at the institutional level, rather than how the individual positionalities of researchers might affect research led by humanitarian actors. In this article, I reflect on experiences as a minority-ethnicity researcher conducting anthropological fieldwork among Syrian refugees in Jordan. My experiences highlight how the intersections between race, gender and age profoundly shape research, challenging assumptions of "objective" humanitarian research. I echo calls for intentionally engaging with power hierarchies underlying humanitarian aid, urging humanitarian actors to analyse individual researcher positionalities.</p> Michelle Lokot Copyright (c) 2022 Michelle Lokot 2022-05-30 2022-05-30 23 2 10.17169/fqs-22.2.3809 Strategies for Communicating Social Science and Humanities Research to Medical Practitioners <p>Social science and humanities (SSH) researchers face challenges publishing qualitative research in medical journals. Yet, the descriptive, explanatory, experiential and interpretive knowledge generated by qualitative research is integral to the enhancement of health service delivery. Drawing on three examples of studies published in medical and SSH journals, we discuss elements SSH researchers can consider in the presentation of their research to better reach their intended audience. We suggest that SSH researchers resist abandoning the foundational elements of their discipline (i.e., epistemological paradigm, research objectives, study design, research methods, trustworthiness) while being mindful of medical journal editors' and reviewers' preference for practical knowledge that can inform practice change. Depending on what the authors hope to convey to their audience, other aspects pertaining to its presentation may be adapted to be more readily understood by the readership (i.e., structure, writing style, vocabulary, summary tables, interpretation level). We remain optimistic that if we continue to expose medical audiences to high-quality SSH research, they will learn to embrace diverse standards for research and value its other modes of presentation.</p> Justin Gagnon Maud Mazaniello-Chezol Joshua Hamzeh Kathleen Rice Copyright (c) 2022 Kathleen Rice, Maud Mazaniello-Chezol, Joshua Hamzeh 2022-05-30 2022-05-30 23 2 10.17169/fqs-22.2.3760 From This Side of Pyrenees: An Overview of Autoethnography in Spain <p>In recent years, we have witnessed a growing interest in autoethnography in Spain. However, the visibility of Spanish autoethnography within and beyond our borders continues to be limited. In this article, I have examined autoethnographic texts written by Spanish authors for the first time. I based this examination on a traditional bibliographic review of texts published in Spanish and English up to 2020. I organized texts according to my proposal for three stages of the development of Spanish autoethnography: its emergence, its dissemination from anthropology to other academic fields, and its consolidation and diversification. In these, I address the description of the content, the disciplinary fields and the main topics researched. I focus on those which most clearly convey their concepts and visions of autoethnography. I conclude with a description of the particularities with which Spanish researchers have used the autoethnographic method, the obstacles to its consolidation and the uncertainties that may threaten its future.</p> Xavier Montagud Copyright (c) 2022 xavier montagud mayor 2022-05-30 2022-05-30 23 2 10.17169/fqs-22.2.3817 Doing Qualitative Multi-Level Analysis: Theoretical, Methodological, and Practical Considerations <p>Over the years, qualitative approaches in empirical social research have become more differentiated. This particularly concerns researchers who consider the interaction of different social levels, such as HELSPER, HUMMRICH and KRAMER (2013) with their qualitative multi-level analysis (QM). As they write, the approach is characterized by many open questions. There are little concrete indications of an application in research practice, and the transferability to fields other than school pedagogy has not yet been clarified.</p> <p>The impetus for this article came from a working group we founded in 2019 to further develop QM with regard to its applicability as an approach to empirical educational and social research. In this context, we had a conversation with Rolf-Torsten KRAMER, one of the three QM developers, in November 2020. In this article we incorporate excerpts from that conversation to explain theoretical, methodological, and research-practical questions we have faced dealing with QM. We discuss these questions via references to relevant literature and with recourse to completed research projects. We see our examination of QM as an unfinished process in which we strive for transparency and are open to connections, criticism. and methodological additions.</p> Sylvia Nienhaus Ann-Kathrin Stoltenhoff Copyright (c) 2022 Sylvia Nienhaus, Ann-Kathrin Stoltenhoff 2022-05-30 2022-05-30 23 2 10.17169/fqs-22.2.3808 Reclaiming Impact in Qualitative Research <p>In both academic and practitioner literature, the term "impact" is conceptualized broadly. Yet the application of impact is construed much more narrowly, in association with (uni)-directional relationships between variables and methodological frameworks oriented towards a positivist approach. Such a conceptualization is problematic, particularly in the context of initiatives that have a goal of internal, individual transformation. Thus, I suggest reconceptualizing impact to acknowledge human agency and explore change more holistically. I argue for a reclaiming of impact by the post-positivist qualitative research community, given the potential of qualitative methodologies to elucidate dialogic understandings of impact and the intersubjective context through which transformation emerges.</p> Karen Ross Copyright (c) 2022 Karen Ross 2022-05-30 2022-05-30 23 2 10.17169/fqs-22.2.3826 The Practice of Dyadic Interviewing: Strengths, Limitations and Key Decisions <p>Dyadic interviews, in which two participants are interviewed together, are becoming more popular in qualitative research, but are much less discussed in the methodological literature than individual and group forms. In this article, we consider the nature and value of dyadic interviews, recognizing them as active, relational encounters, shaped by what all parties bring to them, and infused with issues of power. Drawing on our research on altruistic motivation which involved 47 dyadic interviews conducted with 94 individuals and post-interview feedback from participants, we demonstrate the strengths and point out some of the potential pitfalls associated with the dyadic format, focusing on the practical and ethical issues in defining and recruiting dyads and the practice of conducting such interviews. We provide recommendations for researchers interested in using this method, and suggest research priorities for the further development of dyadic interviewing.</p> Joanna Szulc Nigel King Copyright (c) 2022 Joanna Szulc, Nigel King 2022-05-30 2022-05-30 23 2 10.17169/fqs-22.2.3776 Review: Julia Franz & Ursula Unterkofler (Eds.) (2021). Forschungsethik in der Sozialen Arbeit. Prinzipien und Erfahrungen [Research Ethics in Social Work. Ethical Principles and Experiences] <p>In the anthology presented here, the research ethics code adopted by the German Society for Social Work in 2020 is placed at the center of debate. The code is regarded as an ethical guideline, oriented towards United Nations conventions, to guide researchers to reflect on their own work in self-commitment and responsibility, and to apply for a clearance report from an ethics committee. The authors discuss the ethical principles of the code and the dilemmas arising from contradictions in a multi-faceted, practical, and solution-oriented way. An overview of different field approaches is provided and orientation for the realization of a research process is given. Universal, step-by-step guidance for specific fields is not given in this text. Instead, with a wealth of illustrative practical examples, possibilities and needs for further development are pointed out and guidance is given for finding an ethical implementation in the respective concrete projects.</p> Veronika Rosenberger Copyright (c) 2022 Veronika Rosenberger 2022-05-30 2022-05-30 23 2 10.17169/fqs-22.2.3901 Review Essay: First and Final Cities: "Invisible Cities" as a Reflexive Corrective for Qualitative Social Research <p>In Italo CALVINO's novel "Invisible Cities" the distinction between the everyday world and fiction becomes problematic. In his text, CALVINO offers a reflexive perspective on all the facets of cities which neither appear in city maps nor by means of mere observation of city life. In my article, I consider CALVINO's work as a compendium of qualitative urban research, in which he reminds of both the city's steady decoding and regarding methodological pitfalls. It is not just that CALVINO seems to anticipate any concepts of urbanity, "Invisible Cities" rather must be classified as a basic work for everyone being engaged in qualitative social research.</p> Andreas Thiesen Copyright (c) 2022 Andreas Thiesen 2022-05-30 2022-05-30 23 2 10.17169/fqs-22.2.3895