The technological fix in qualitative research
This paper questions whether the introduction of high technology as a tool for qualitative research can be viewed as an attempt to provide the qualitative output with a spurious quasi-scientific validity. We argue that the introduction of technology into the qualitative arena must be handled with care. On the one hand it can be employed as a welcome enabler which aids a deeper understanding of human beings and how they interact with and respond to their environment. On the other hand it can be used to obscure the highly subjective and impressionistic nature of the qualitative research process. Clarity of objectives and honesty concerning the likely effects on human responses (and the interpretation of these) are essential if we are to employ technology meaningfully.
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