chapter  10
21 Pages

Patterns of crisis behaviour: a qualitative inquiry

WithBarry A. Turner

Qualitative research comes in a variety of forms. We produce ‘qualitative data’ in the course of our attempts to understand a range of different events, processes, behaviours or people, and such data are inherently diverse, nonstandardized, heterogeneous and difficult to classify. This is not to suggest, though, that such data are peculiar. Even though it often appears as if we live and work in a world where most of the important information is quantitative and standardized, a world in which any qualitative material has to be segregated and treated with suspicion, a deeper understanding of the processes of inquiry and comprehension shows that the reverse is the case. We can regard all of the information which we acquire about the world as qualitative, and then see that under some circumstances we can use this information to create a particular kind of data, quantitative data, to which the properties of number can be applied.