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|Title: ||Looking beyond the qualitative and quantitative divide: Narrative, ethics and representation in suicidology|
|Authors: ||Fitzpatrick, S.J.|
|Issue Date: ||2011|
|Publisher: ||Suicidology Online|
|Citation: ||Fitzpatrick, S. (2011). Looking beyond the qualitative and quantitative divide: Narrative, ethics and representation in suicidology. Suicidology Online, 2:29-37.|
|Abstract: ||This work is a critical response to renewed debate within the field of suicidology with regard to the
value of qualitative research methods. It begins by rejecting the context of the established debate which
continues to oppose the qualitative and the quantitative in suicidology. This distinction is considered misleading.
Qualitative research is not one thing but many. It is therefore problematic to conceive of it in terms of a
dichotomous relationship with quantitative research methods. Using the conceptual and analytical tools of
narrative inquiry, this work argues that the debate between quantitative and qualitative methods in suicidology is
more than a debate about methods; it is also a debate about ethics, representation, and ways of doing suicidology.
These are critical issues for suicidology in that they extend beyond conventional debates about methods and into
the ways we conceive of and relate to the subjects of our inquiries. This work makes an argument for suicidology
to rethink the contributions of qualitative research at two distinct, yet interrelated levels. Firstly, on the basis of
knowledge, where qualitative methods such as narrative – through their very difference – assist in broadening the
research endeavour by providing ways of studying phenomena not conducive to quantitative approaches; and
secondly, on the basis of ethics, where the way we write about suicidal behaviour and persons as researchers is
considered both a moral and political act.
Keywords: suicidology, qualitative research, narrative, ethics|
|Type of Work: ||Article|
|Type of Publication: ||Publisher version|
|Appears in Collections:||Research Papers and Publications. Sydney Health Ethics|
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