Research in Black and White

Joint Medical Research Council, Department of Health, University of Bristol, UK.
Qualitative Health Research (Impact Factor: 2.19). 08/2002; 12(6):816-25. DOI: 10.1177/10432302012006008
Source: PubMed


The authors consider the methodological, interpretative, and practical issues that arise when there is a difference in ethnicity between researcher and informant in qualitative research by drawing on the academic literature and their fieldwork experiences as White researchers undertaking studies with individuals of African/Caribbean and South Asian descent. Some contemporary issues raised by "researching the other" in the context of pragmatic health services research are highlighted, including access to same-ethnicity researchers, the involvement of interpreters, and the potential for ethnocentric interpretation. The authors believe that qualitative research should be judged by the plausibility of the findings and by a critical evaluation of the way in which the research was conducted and the reflexivity of the researcher.

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    • "This perspective integrates cultural interpretation of the participant's statements into the data analysis process (Adamson and Donovan, 2002; Hole, 2007; Lange, 2002). The translator, therefore, becomes a producer of research data who shapes the analysis through their identity and experiences (Adamson and Donovan, 2002; Temple, 2002; Temple and Young, 2004). "
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    ABSTRACT: ObjectivesCross-language qualitative research occurs when a language barrier is present between researchers and participants. The language barrier is frequently mediated through the use of a translator or interpreter. The purpose of this analysis of cross-language qualitative research was threefold: (1) review the methods literature addressing cross-language research; (2) synthesize the methodological recommendations from the literature into a list of criteria that could evaluate how researchers methodologically managed translators and interpreters in their qualitative studies; (3) test these criteria on published cross-language qualitative studies.Data sourcesA group of 40 purposively selected cross-language qualitative studies found in nursing and health sciences journals.Review methodsThe synthesis of the cross-language methods literature produced 14 criteria to evaluate how qualitative researchers managed the language barrier between themselves and their study participants. To test the criteria, the researcher conducted a summative content analysis framed by discourse analysis techniques of the 40 cross-language studies.ResultsThe evaluation showed that only 6 out of 40 studies met all the criteria recommended by the cross-language methods literature for the production of trustworthy results in cross-language qualitative studies. Multiple inconsistencies, reflecting disadvantageous methodological choices by cross-language researchers, appeared in the remaining 33 studies. To name a few, these included rendering the translator or interpreter as an invisible part of the research process, failure to pilot test interview questions in the participant's language, no description of translator or interpreter credentials, failure to acknowledge translation as a limitation of the study, and inappropriate methodological frameworks for cross-language research.ConclusionsThe finding about researchers making the role of the translator or interpreter invisible during the research process supports studies completed by other authors examining this issue. The analysis demonstrated that the criteria produced by this study may provide useful guidelines for evaluating cross-language research and for novice cross-language researchers designing their first studies. Finally, the study also indicates that researchers attempting cross-language studies need to address the methodological issues surrounding language barriers between researchers and participants more systematically.
    International journal of nursing studies 02/2009; 46(2-46):277-287. DOI:10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2008.08.006 · 2.90 Impact Factor
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    • "With role and other technical considerations accounted for, researchers then need to plan to recruit interpreters and translators before the start of the study (Adamson & Donovan 2002; Lange 2002). In the author's professional experience, one complaint frequently reported by translators is that the time expected for translation services is too short because monolingual speakers expect translation to occur rapidly. "
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    ABSTRACT: This review of the literature synthesizes methodological recommendations for the use of translators and interpreters in cross-language qualitative research. Cross-language qualitative research involves the use of interpreters and translators to mediate a language barrier between researchers and participants. Qualitative nurse researchers successfully address language barriers between themselves and their participants when they systematically plan for how they will use interpreters and translators throughout the research process. Experienced qualitative researchers recognize that translators can generate qualitative data through translation processes and by participating in data analysis. Failure to address language barriers and the methodological challenges they present threatens the credibility, transferability, dependability and confirmability of cross-language qualitative nursing research. Through a synthesis of the cross-language qualitative methods literature, this article reviews the basics of language competence, translator and interpreter qualifications, and roles for each kind of qualitative research approach. Methodological and ethical considerations are also provided. By systematically addressing the methodological challenges cross-language research presents, nurse researchers can produce better evidence for nursing practice and policy making when working across different language groups. Findings from qualitative studies will also accurately represent the experiences of the participants without concern that the meaning was lost in translation.
    International Nursing Review 10/2008; 55(3):265-73. DOI:10.1111/j.1466-7657.2008.00652.x · 0.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Using the child and family research arena as a base, and by generating and analysing empirical data according to the grounded theory methodology proposed by Glaser and Strauss (1967), this thesis adopts an empirical approach to the study of the research relationship. More specifically, it explores how researchers (n=13) understand the research process and, in particular, how they negotiate the process of doing research with people and organisations. Four key social actors are identified and discussed. These are: the researchers, the funding agencies, the gate-keepers, and the research groups. Whilst, the issues involved with the post-data collection stages of research are not presented here, the issues associated with the pre-data-collection phases and data-collection phases of research are articulated. Within the pre-data collection phases of research, the process of research generation and how the interests of researchers converge with funding agencies are examined and discussed. Similarly, the roles of gate-keeping groups, who straddle the pre-data collection and data collection phases of research, are also explored and the supporting mechanisms of these relationships highlighted. Finally, the thesis explores the nature of researchers’ relationships with research groups by distinguishing between categorical, collective, and formal, research groups. The mechanisms that support and challenge engagement with these groups are identified and the ethical devices that researchers use to negotiate and manage these relationships are also explored.
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