Contesting methodologies

Danijela Bogdanovic (VOME Project, School of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences, University of Salford, Salford, UK)
Michael Dowd (VOME Project, School of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences, University of Salford, Salford, UK)
Eileen Wattam (VOME Project, School of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences, University of Salford, Salford, UK)
Alison Adam (VOME Project, School of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences, University of Salford, Salford, UK)

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society

ISSN: 1477-996X

Publication date: 23 November 2012

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on and evaluate focus groups and privacy diary/interview methods used in a qualitative study of on‐line privacy.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is a discursive evaluation of two methods employed to study on‐line privacy, informed by and situated in interpretive and constructivist approaches to knowledge.

Findings

The paper argues for the value of qualitative research methods in study of on‐line privacy. It confronts the positivist paradigm that informs much of the work in the field by foregrounding the need for methodological plurality in the study of privacy as relational, situated, dynamic and contextual. It deals with the notion of “sensitivity” as well as introducing often neglected issue of logistical challenges in qualitative research.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the existing debates about the value of employment of qualitative research methods broadly, as well as in the study of on‐line privacy more specifically. It demonstrates a range of advantages and challenges in use of the two methods, providing recommendations of how to supplement them. It opens up the discussion of process of sensitizing of the participants and thus the “co‐construction” of knowledge.

Keywords

Citation

Bogdanovic, D., Dowd, M., Wattam, E. and Adam, A. (2012), "Contesting methodologies", Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Vol. 10 No. 4, pp. 208-221. https://doi.org/10.1108/14779961211285854

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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