Mixed Methods Approaches to Facilitate Cultural Understanding: A Socio-Ecological Framework

Debbie Miller, Ph.D.

Adjunct Instructor of Research Methods, Doane College

Michelle Howell Smith, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor, MAP Academy
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2015-2016 Methodology Applications Series

Presentation 3

Research methods and their applications are often viewed with minimal consideration of the contexts in which researchers' and participants' lives are situated. A socio-ecological framework allows consideration of personal, interpersonal, and societal contexts of research applications in order to accommodate these contexts through participant-centered methodologies. This presentation focuses on personal culture aspects (intersecting and self-perceived ethnic, geographic, linguistic, gender, sexuality, neurological, and economic orientations) of personal contexts and on collective culture aspects of societal contexts. In discussing personal and collective cultures, this presentation follows the lifecycle of research including design, sampling, instrument and protocol development or adaptation, data collection, data analysis, and interpretation. The presentation inherently seeks to illustrate that complex diversity is inherent in every study sample, regardless of whether the study explicitly targets 'minority groups.' Attendees will gain insights, ideas, and relevant sources for qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods from which to choose in various research applications.