The qualitative field research method is used to understand and interpret the social world of another person through their lens. Direct observation, qualitative interviews, and ethnographic studies are the methods used for this type of research. This type of research is beneficial as it gives an in-depth understanding of the people under study, it is inexpensive and flexible. On the other hand, there are some drawbacks to using this methodology. There are a number of ethical issues involved like informed approval, accountability, and privacy. This methodology is also time taking, not fit for statistical analysis of data, and cannot be termed as reliable or valid because the personal beliefs and biases of the researcher are always present. In this type of field research focus groups are relevant as the group of people expresses their personal views, and the researcher can understand the perspective of the people easily.
Content analysis is a research method used for studying written documents. It is reliable as it is difficult to alter the primary source of the written document and the researcher’s personal views do not affect the subject. It is inexpensive and a portion of the study can be repeated but it is only limited to recorded text. Analysis of existing statistics is a methodology in which the researcher uses governmental statistics for his research. This method is time and money-saving, and the data used by the government usually have a good sampling design, on the other hand, this methodology is not reliable and valid as the data only contains statistical data which is insufficient to study many social problems. The historical/comparative analysis is a method in which historical records are used by the researcher (Neuman & Robson, 2014). This methodology gives abundant knowledge and is trustworthy, but it can be invalid if the data is too old and now situations are different. Other weaknesses of this methodology are the destruction of records, and invalidity of the information when applied to other cultures.
Neuman, W. L., & Robson, K. (2014). Basics of social research. Pearson Canada.