Building castles in the air: Colonising the social space in online qualitative research
conference contributionposted on 05.03.2015, 15:26 by Hugh Busher, Nalita James
At present there is only a relatively small field of literature on online qualitative research in education as an approach that offers several advantages to education researchers. It allows qualitative data to be gathered at a distance, as we have discovered, especially when conventional means of distance data gathering, such as telephonic interviews, are unacceptable for methodological or logistical reasons. In order to construct trustworthy online qualitative research, we need to deepen our understanding of its processes, particularly the nature of the researcher / participant relationships in this social space, and we need to deepen our understanding of the interaction between participants’ and researchers’ online and offline selves and how these interactions affect our understandings of the participants’ lives. This paper investigates critical perspectives in online qualitative research by considering how asymmetrical power relationships between participants and researchers influence the ways in which they colonise the social space of a research conversation and how this affects the trustworthiness of research.