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date: 21 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews four major qualitative research methods—case study, grounded theory, generic qualitative research, and auto/biography/narrative research—frequently utilized in research on adult development and learning and examines their underlying assumptions in relation to two contrasting theoretical frameworks: post-positivism/critical realism and interpretivism. The author explicates the distinctive features of each theoretical tradition and its ramifications in current methodological practices. The author acknowledges that the existence of multiple theoretical traditions, which are often incompatible with one another, would provide a dynamic context for enriched research endeavors and discussion in the emerging field of adult development and learning.

Keywords: qualitative research methods, epistemology, validity, case study, grounded theory, generic qualitative research, auto/biography, narrative research

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