Conceptual framework and research questions0

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Choosing a topic, conceptual mapping, and deciding research questions :

Choosing a topic, conceptual mapping, and deciding research questions

Sources of topics (Veal p. 47):

Sources of topics (Veal p. 47) Personal interest The literature Policy/management issues Social issues Popular or media coverage Published research agendas Brainstorming Combinations of any of above

Research topics can …:

Research topics can … Test the findings of other research in a different geographical context Test the findings of other research using a different methodology Use earlier research as a base-line for exploring changes over time

MA dissertation research ...:

MA dissertation research ... Must be scientific/academic Demonstrate critical analysis Refer to a body of knowledge Have a well-developed conceptual framework Consultancy-type reports & feasibility studies are not appropriate for MA dissertation

Conceptual framework:

Conceptual framework A conceptual framework explains … the main things to be studied – the key factors, constructs or variables – and the presumed relationships among them. Frameworks can be rudimentary or elaborate, theory-driven or commonsensical, descriptive or causal. (Miles and Huberman, cited Veal p. 54)

Slide 6:

Devising a conceptual framework – Veal p. 55

Identify concepts: Agarwal 1999:

Identify concepts: Agarwal 1999 Supply and demand-side changes in British holiday market have resulted in an over-production in the traditional mass tourism coastal product Lack of investment in new attractions in traditional seaside towns Tacky image and poor quality of accommodation Availability of low cost holidays in the sun

Identify concepts: Agarwal 1999:

Identify concepts: Agarwal 1999 Economic restructuring has contributed to the decline Switch from Fordist to post-Fordist forms of production and consumption and the rise of the niche market Switch from reliance on mass transit modes to personal transportation Availability of alternative attractions and leisure options, including urban leisure

Identify concepts: Agarwal 1999:

Identify concepts: Agarwal 1999 Government intervention is required to stimulate local and regional economic development through seaside tourism regeneration Improving the product through raised levels of investment in tourist-related facilities Increasing tourist volume and spend Stimulating employment Spread of benefits through multiplier effect

Define concepts:

Define concepts This may be the main function of a conceptual framework in descriptive research. ‘regular users’ ? ‘visitor demand’ ? ‘manager’ ? ‘holiday’ ? ‘quality of life’ ? ‘accessibility’ ? ‘variety’ ? See case study examples given by Veal pp. 81 – 94

For example: ‘target demographic segment’ with reference to museum visitation :

For example: ‘target demographic segment’ with reference to museum visitation See Arts and Culture in Australia: A Statistical Overview, 2008 http://www.abs.gov.au

Operationalise concepts :

Operationalise concepts In other words, how can abstract, intangible concepts be made tangible? How can concepts such as regeneration? community? deprivation? local? be recognised, assessed, measured or counted? See examples in Veal pp. 58-59

Operationalise concepts :

Operationalise concepts What key concepts can you identify from your reading of Smith 2007? How would you operationalise them?

Formulating the research question:

Formulating the research question Topics may initially be vague, abstract, and lacking in focus Secondary reading and the elaboration of a conceptual framework should sharpen the focus of the question and make it more specific Subsidiary questions make explicit the steps required to answer a primary question

What would you say are the primary and subsidiary questions in Agarwal’s 1999 paper? :

What would you say are the primary and subsidiary questions in Agarwal’s 1999 paper?

Identifying information needs:

Identifying information needs What information do you need in order to answer your research question? Where can you find that information (data sources)? Can it be sourced from secondary data, or does it require new information to be generated?

Identifying information needs:

Identifying information needs Information needs and sources are closely linked to the operationalisation of concepts

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