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Active waiting: habits and the practice of conducting qualitative research
International Journal of Qualitative Methods (2010)
  • Matthew R Hunt, University of Montreal

Learning to conduct good qualitative research passes beyond the acquisition of research knowledge and technical skill. A variety of attributes and abilities are important in the research process such as creativity, flexibility and inquisitiveness, amongst others. Quality in qualitative research also requires the development and practice of specific habits. Such habits are likely a taken-for-granted aspect of qualitative inquiry for seasoned researchers; they may not be as obvious for less-experienced researchers or students. In this article I examine the role of habits in and on the practice of qualitative research. To illustrate this topic I examine how researcher habits can influence the pacing of an inquiry. Qualitative research requires the learned practice of ‘active waiting’: striking a balance throughout a research project between moving forward and advancing the research process, and on the other hand allowing adequate space and time for the full development of each aspect of the research. Certain habits and dispositions may predispose researchers to rush ahead or to be more passive in their approach to the inquiry. Maintaining alertness to the influence of habits contributes to reflexivity and promotes attention to the embodied nature of qualitative research.

  • habits,
  • qualitative research,
  • reflexivity,
  • research methods,
  • teaching
Publication Date
Citation Information
Matthew R Hunt. "Active waiting: habits and the practice of conducting qualitative research" International Journal of Qualitative Methods Vol. 9 Iss. 1 (2010)
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