Qualitative research methods: all publications

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KONOPÁSEK, Z. (2005): Aby myšlení bylo dobře vidět: Nad novou verzí programu Atlas.ti [Making our thinking visible: A review of the new version of Atlas.ti]. Biograf, (37): 89-109


With references to my review of the software package from 1997, I discuss the newly released version of Atlas.ti, an advanced CAQDAS (computer assisted qualitative data analysis software) representative. Who is this software tool good for and why? What are the main principles of analytic work with the programme? What is new in this version? Also, I mention features still missing in the programme and whether or not to upgrade from previous version. 

KONOPÁSEK, Z. (2005): Co znamená interpretovat text? [What it means to interpret a text of qualitative data?] In: M. Miovský, I. Čermák & V. Chrz, eds.: Kvalitativní přístup a metody ve vědách o člověku - IV: Vybrané aspekty teorie a praxe. Olomouc: FF UP. Pp. 85-95


What it means to interpret the text of collected qualitative data? Interpretation is usually understood as an intellectual procedure by which our empirical experience is conceptually processed; by which it is grasped and seen in some novel way. This is how methodologists and philosophers think. My contribution takes a different view. I show interpretation not so much as mental processes (of reading), but rather as observable and accountable material practices (of writing). I demonstrate, for instance, that what we commonly take as „new reading of a text“ actually can be viewed as „reading of new and new texts“, i.e., of texts that are progressively and constantly produced by and through our own analytical work with the data. From such a point of view, the art of interpretation becomes perhaps less exclusive and mysterious, but the more it becomes accessible, accountable and instructable.

KONOPÁSEK, Z. (2005): Nesnáze s etnometodologií [The troubles with ethnomethodology]. Biograf, (38): 85-109



GUILLEMIN, M. / GILLAM, L. (2004): Etika, reflexivita a "eticky důležité okamžiky" ve výzkumu [Ethics, reflexivity, and "ethically important moments" in research]. Biograf, (35): 11-31 - translated by Zdeněk Konopásek and Jiřina Zachová



Ethical tensions are part of the everyday practice of doing research—all kinds of research. How do researchers deal with ethical problems that arise in the practice of their research, and are there conceptual frameworks that they can draw on to assist them? This article examines the relationship between reflexivity and research ethics. It focuses on what constitutes ethical research practice in qualitative research and how researchers achieve ethical research practice. As a framework for thinking through these issues, the authors distinguish two different dimensions of ethics in research, which they term procedural ethics and "ethics in practice". The relationship between them and the impact that each has on the actual doing of research are examined. The article then draws on the notion of reflexivity as a helpful way of understanding both the nature of ethics in qualitative research and how ethical practice in research can be achieved. 

Translated from: GUILLEMIN, M. / GILLAM, L. (2004): Ethics, reflexivity, and "ethically important moments" in research. Qualitative Inquiry, 10 (2): 261-280

FINE, G.A. (2001): Jak se dělá příroda a ochočuje divočina: Problém "vysbírávání" lesů v houbařské kultuře [Naturework and the taming of the wild: The problem of "overpick" in the culture of mushroomers]. Biograf, (24): 29-56 - translated by Zdeněk Konopásek


Although nature often has been treated as an unproblematic reality, I argue for treating it as a contested concept, suggesting that "nature" is a cultural construction. Drawing on interactionist and ecological theory, I claim that the creation of social problems involving the environment is inevitably grounded in cultural choices. Through a set of ideological structures (a protectionist vision, an organic vision, and a humanistic vision), social actors develop templates for understanding the proper relationship between humans and nature. Based on an ethnography of mushroom collecting, I contend that these models lead us to experience nature through cultural eyes - wishing to be away from civilization, to be at one with nature, and to engage in the pragmatic use of nature for personal ends. Conflicting stances toward nature account for debate over the moral acceptability of the commercial collection of mushrooms and the "problem" of overpick. Templates of human-environmental interaction, leading to models for experiencing the wild, provide the basis for understanding the conditions under which environmental change is defined as a social problem.

FINE, G.A. (1997): Naturework and the taming of the wild: The problem of "overpick" in the culture of mushroomers. Social Problems, 44 (1): 68-88

ASHMORE, M. / REED, D. (2001): Nevinnost a nostalgie v konverzační analýze: dynamické vztahy mezi nahrávkou a jejím přepisem [Innocence and nostalgia in conversation analysis: The dynamic relations of tape and transcript]. Biograf, (25): 3-23 - translated by Lenka Buštíková, Zdeněk Konopásek a Ivan Vodochodský


This paper attempts an analysis of some of the methodological practices of Conversation Analysis (CA); in particular, tape recording and transcription. The paper starts from the observation that, in the CA literature, these practices, and the analytic objects they create (the tape and the transcript), are accorded different treatment: simply put, for CA the tape is a "realist" object, while the transcript is a "constructivist" one. The significance of this difference is explored through an analysis of the dynamics of CA practice. We argue that the "constructivist transcript" is premised on an understanding of CA as predominantly concerned with maximising its "analytic utility": a concern of one distinct temporal stage of CA work: that of the "innocent" apprehension of objects in the "first time through". The "realist tape", in contrast, is based on a different aspect of the work of CA: its quest for greater "evidential utility", achieved by the "nostalgic" revisiting of previously produced objects for purposes of checking them against each other; work done in the "next time through". We further argue that both the ontology and the epistemology of CA[a]s objects are changed in any next time encounter. We conclude with a cautionary speculation on the currently-projected, transcript-free, digital future of CA.

ASHMORE, M. / REED, D. (2000): Innocence and nostalgia in conversation analysis: The dynamic relations of tape and transcript. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 1(3): 45 paragraphs., art. 3. Available at http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs000335

BITRICH, T. / KONOPÁSEK, Z. (2001): Transcriber - pohodlnější přepisování, a možná i něco navíc [Transcriber: Easier transcribing and even more]. Biograf, (24): 125-146 (available online at http://www.biograf.org/clanky/clanek.php?clanek=v2412)



KONOPÁSEK, Z. / KUSÁ, Z. (2000): Political screenings as trials of strength: Methodological consequences of the relativist perspective in oral history research. In: D. Koleva, ed.: Talking history. Sofia: LIK. Pp. 63-81



KONOPÁSEK, Z. / KUSÁ, Z. (2000): Re-use of life stories in an ethnomethodological research. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 1 (3): 42 paragraphs, art. 24. Available at http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0003248


In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the age of life history archives with a wider access for the social scientists is only coming. However, secondary analysis of qualitative data is not limited to documents that are stored in public archives. It happens quite often that researchers make use of an interview transcript, or a part of it, which has originally been gathered for a different occasion. Thus, they use these data for studying new topics that are sometimes far from the original research questions and objectives. In this paper we discuss some methodological problems arising from such practice. We show that, on one hand, the ethnomethodological perspective is especially demanding on the quality and the pinpoint accuracy of transcripts and the descriptions of the interviews by which the narratives were elicited (field memos). On the other hand, however, the ethnomethodological perspective orients scholars to formulate their research objectives according to what the data itself offers. The methodological problems related to the re-use of data can hardly be resolved in advance and on a general level.

KONOPÁSEK, Z. (1999): Kvalitativní rušno [Qualitative activities]. Biograf, (20): 67-75



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