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Concerned with meaning, rather than with measurement. The emphasis is on subjective understanding, communication, and empathy, rather than on prediction and control, and it is a tenet that there is no separate, unique, ‘real’ world. All qualitative researchers are positioned subjects; as such, the rigour of their research depends not only on the suitability of the methodology, the use of multiple methods, and the inclusion of verbatim quotations, but also on its credibility and transferability. Thomas (2007) Prof. Geogr. 59, 4 suggests that researchers must avoid psychoanalysing research subjects: ‘this limits the ways in which scholars can “read” personal narratives for unconscious processes.’ Bradshaw (2001) Area 33, 2 outlines ‘some choices which might help address possible difficulties in qualitatively researching the powerful’. For methods in qualitative research, see Davies and Dwyer (2007) PHG31, 2; 2008, PHG32, 3; and for a checklist for evaluating qualitative research, see Baxter and Eyles (1997) TIBG22, 4. See Suchan and Brewer (2000) Prof. Geogr. 52, 1 on qualitative methods in cartography.

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography.

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