In this article, I make a case for how the conventional deductive writing style common in top impact mainstream journals affects what we can know, how we can learn, and the extent to which qualitative methods are valued. Using case examples, I demonstrate how a deductive logic perpetuates a myth that is ethically and pedagogically problematic, constrains theory building, and invites inappropriate benchmarks for quality. Further, articulating qualitative analysis methods in a formulaic manner can actually overshadow and discourage the artistic insight of grounded analyses. The article closes with a discussion of how communication scholars are well equipped to help transform publication conventions so that qualitative methods may be presented in more flexible and expansive literary styles.
The Toxic and Mythical Combination of a Deductive Writing Logic for Inductive Qualitative Research
Sarah J. Tracy, Project for Wellness and Work-Life, Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, Arizona State University-Tempe. I am thankful to Bud Goodall, Roberta Chevrette, Emily Cripe, and Clifton Scott for their thoughtful suggestions, and to Alan Sillars, Larry Browning, and Thomas Lindlof for their personal communication with me about the issues presented. Correspondence to: Sarah J. Tracy, The Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, Arizona State University, PO Box 871205, Tempe, AZ 85287-1205, USA. Email: Sarah.Tracy@asu.edu.
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Sarah J. Tracy; The Toxic and Mythical Combination of a Deductive Writing Logic for Inductive Qualitative Research. Qualitative Communication Research 1 March 2012; 1 (1): 109–141. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/qcr.2012.1.1.109
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