Session 2 806 Article Summary

The article by Hostetler (2005 explores the question of what constitutes good education research. The critical challenge that the author identifies is the tendency for academic researchers to focus much of their attention on the methodology instead of analyzing deeply what they are doing and why it has to be done that way. Good education research, according to Hostetler, should focus not only on sound methodologies but also on the aims and results. The education research is considered good in a strong sense when it articulates some strong connection between the researchers’ work and stout, justifiable conception of human well-being. The analogies, such as debating on how to investigate the effectiveness of a thumbscrew as a mean of torture, driving lemmings towards the cliff but point to the authors’ idea that many researchers do not take time to reflect on the fundamental aim of the education research, but rather the methodology applied. Hostetler, however, argues that correcting such conception of the researcher’s work requires a determined and cooperative attempt for moral education among researchers, where the question of well-being must be foregrounded and thoroughly debated.

The paper by Flick (2002), on the one hand, is about the author’s observation, where he compares the methodological discussions concerning qualitative research between German-speaking and Anglo-Saxon contexts. The author concludes that the discussions on the said topic are quite different in the two contexts. The genre analysis and Hermeneutic approaches have more substantial significance in the German discussion and research practices. Anglo-Saxon’s areas are well-known for cultural studies or qualitative online research discussions. Besides, qualitative research is struggling to establish itself in the German context in terms of funding, institutionalization, and its role in regular sociology training. However, in the Anglo Saxon areas, the publications represent one version of qualitative research. Local developments and traditions may convey different impressions or meaning of qualitative research depending on its role and space in the disciplines.

The article by Bacchus et al. (2016) is qualitative interpretive research on the experience of women being questioned about intimate partner violence (IPV) and getting intervention during a perinatal home visit (HV) both in rural and urban settings in the United States. IPV affects one in every three women worldwide and one out of four in the United States, with a profound negative long-term impact on women and the children, according to the researchers. Women exposed to IPV during pregnancy are more likely to develop an increased rate of depression, tobacco, alcohol, and illicit substance abuse, and to some extent, termination of pregnancy. Pregnancy complications include low birth weight and preterm delivery. On whether to screen women for IPV during clinical consultations, the authors cited a study by the WHO discouraging universal screening on IPV in the clinical settings because of inadequate evidence on the effectiveness of the intervention to improve the health outcomes or reduce violence.  Instead, healthcare professionals should train on other ways to approach the client when IPV abuse is detected.

Rabinow (1986) explores facts about mental representation through the study of epistemology as a philosophical concept. Rabinow’s paper discusses the element and discourse of representation. According to the author, epistemology, which is the study of mental representation, emanated from a particular historical epoch in the 17th century and developed in Europe before eventually prevailing in philosophy as a profession claim by one group of German professors of philosophy in the nineteenth century. The modern idea of epistemology is based on the interpretation and judgment of the subjects “representations.” The idea epistemology, according to the article, is to represent what is outside one’s mind accurately. As such, the article equates the idea to the understanding of how the mind constructs different representations. One arrives at the knowledge by examining the representations of reality.


Bacchus, L. J., Bullock, L., Sharps, P., Burnett, C., Schminkey, D., Buller, A. M., & Campbell, J. (2016). ‘Opening the door’: a qualitative interpretive study of women’s experiences of being asked about intimate partner violence and receiving an intervention during perinatal home visits in rural and urban settings in the USA. Journal of Research in Nursing, 21(5-6), 345-364.

Flick, U. (2002). Qualitative research-state of the art. Social science information41(1), 5-24.

Hostetler, K. (2005). What is “good” education research?. Educational Researcher34(6), 16-21. Rabinow, P. (1986). Representations are social facts: Modernity and post-modernity in anthropology. Writing cul