Dipping Qualitative Toes into a Quantitative Worldview: Methodological Manoeuvres in a Multicultural Context

  • Cynthia Cowling
  • Celeste Lawson
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Education Research Methods book series (PSERM)


Radiography is a health science with rich opportunities for qualitative research, yet only 5 % of published research in radiography is qualitative. This chapter maps the journey of one radiography researcher who used comparative ethnography to study the sociological underpinnings of radiographic practice in seven countries. She encountered issues and pitfalls that needed to be overcome in terms of not only methodology but also practice. The researcher was obliged to justify a qualitative approach to the profession in order to access the varying cultural and socioeconomic data collection sites. The insider status of the researcher became a critical element in the interpretation of certain professional behaviours in a variety of contextual cultural influences.


United Arab Emirate Observation Session Reflective Journal Inside Status Staff Room 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Adams, J., & Smith, T. (2003). Qualitative methods in radiography research: A proposed framework. Radiography, 9, 193–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baird, M. A. (1998). The preparation for practise as a radiographer. The relationship between the practicum and the profession. (PhD), La Trobe, Melbourne.Google Scholar
  3. Bolderston, A. (2014). Five percent is not enough. Why we need more qualitative research in the medical radiation sciences. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences, 45, 201–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bowe, H., Martin, K., & Manns, H. (2014). Communication across cultures: Mutual understanding in a global world. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Burnard, P. (1991). A method of analysing interview transcripts in qualitative research. Nurse Education Today, 11, 461–466.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Campeau, F. E. (1999). Radiography: Technology, environment, professionalism. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.Google Scholar
  7. Chandratilrake, M., McAleer, S., & Gibson, J. (2012). Cultural similarities and differences in medical professionalism: A multi-region study. Medical Education, 46(3), 257–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Decker, S., & Ipholen, R. (2005). Developing the profession of radiography. Making use of oral history. Radiography, 11, 262–271.Google Scholar
  9. Denzin, N., & Lincoln, Y. (2003). The landscape of qualitative research: Theories and issues (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  10. Denzin, N., & Lincoln, Y. (2013). Strategies of qualitative inquiry (4th ed.). Los Angeles: Sage.Google Scholar
  11. Ember, C. R., & Ember, M. (2009). Cross cultural research methods (2nd ed.). Lanham, MD: AltaMira.Google Scholar
  12. Gabbay, J., & le May, A. (2004). Evidence based guidelines or collectively constructed mindlines? Ethnographic study of knowledge management in primary care. British Medical Journal, 329(7473), 1013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Geertz, C. (1973). Interpretation of cultures; Selected essays. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  14. Hall, E. (1976). Beyond culture. Garden City, NY: Anchor Books.Google Scholar
  15. Hamilton, J., & Woodward-Kron, R. (2010). Developing cultural awareness and intercultural communication through multi-media: A case study from medicine and the health sciences. System, 38, 560–568.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hammersley, M., & Atkinson, P. (2007). Ethnography. Principles in practice (3rd ed.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  17. Hofstede, G. J. (2010). Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind: Intercultural cooperation and its importance for survival (3rd. ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  18. Huber, J. (1995). Centennial essay: Institutional perspectives on sociology. American Journal of Sociology, 101, 194–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Johnson, M. (2004). Real world ethics and nursing research. Nursing Times Research, 9, 251–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jorgensen, D. L. (1989). Participant observation, a methodology for human studies. Thousand Oaks: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kerstetter, K. (2012). Insider, outsider or somewhere in between: The impact of reserachers’ identities on the community based research process. Journal of Rural Social Sciences, 27(2), 99–117.Google Scholar
  22. Levitt-Jones, T., & Lathlean, J. (2009). “Don’t rock the boat”: Nursing students’ experiences of conformity and compliance. Nurse Education Today, 29(3), 612–616.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Madison, D. S. (2012). Critical ethnography: Method, ethics and performance. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  24. Merton, R. (1972). Insiders and outsiders: A chapter in the sociology of knowledge. American Journal of Sociology, 78, 9–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Meyer, E. (2014). The culture map: Breaking through the invisible boundaries of global business. New York: PublicAffairs.Google Scholar
  26. Murphy, F. J., & Yielder, J. (2009). Establishing rigour in qualitative radiography. Radiography, 16, 62–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Nixon, S. (2001). Professionalism in radiography. Radiography, 7(1), 31–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Pope, C., Ziebland, S., & Mays, N. (2000). Qualitative research in health care: Analyzing qualitative data. British Medical Journal, 320(7227), 114–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Reeves, S., Kuper, A., & Hodges, B. (2008). Qualitative research methodologies: Ethnography. British Medical Journal, 337, a1020.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Rubin, H., & Rubin, I. (1995). Qualitative interviewing: The art of hearing data. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  31. Sarantakos, S. (2005). Social research (3rd ed.). Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave.Google Scholar
  32. Strudwick, R. (2011). An ethnographic study of the culture in a diagnostic imaging department. (DProf Health and Social Care), University of Salford, Salford.Google Scholar
  33. Whyte, W. (1984). Learning from the field. Beverley Hills: Sage.Google Scholar
  34. Wieman, C. (2014). The similarities between research in education and research in the hard sciences. Educational Researcher, 43(1), 12–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Yates, L. (2004). The secret rules of language: Tackling pragmatics in the classroom. Prospect, 19(1), 3–21.Google Scholar
  36. Yielder, J., & Davis, M. (2009). Where radiographers fear to tread: Resistance and apathy in radiography practice. Radiography, 15, 345–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cynthia Cowling
    • 1
  • Celeste Lawson
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Education and the ArtsCQUniversity Australia/Monash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.School of Education and the ArtsCQUniversity AustraliaRockhamptonAustralia

Personalised recommendations