Qualitative Meta-Synthesis of Case Studies

24th January 2019 : 12:45 - 14:00

Category: Seminar

Research Group: Qualitative Methods Hub

Speaker: Dr Nigel Fancourt (Department of Education)

Location: Seminar Room B, Department of Education

Convener: Victoria Elliott

In this session, I will explore the methodological challenges of qualitative meta-synthesis.  First, I outline some practical reasons for seeking to re-use (and reconfigure) existing qualitative and quantitative data, notably depth of data, the researcher’s sense of unanswered questions, and the expediency of re-use.

Then I pose some general epistemological issues raised, surrounding systematic reviews, meta-analysis and meta-synthesis, particularly in relation to secondary data analysis as a potential reversal of the traditional model of research design.  I then explain the approach taken in a recent qualitative meta-synthesis of forty-five case studies drawn from three different research projects (Fancourt & Ipgrave, forthcoming), in identifying suitable research questions, and in organising the two phases of data categorisation and data connection.  The findings from the paper, on how schools negotiate with their local religious contexts, are then discussed to show one solution to these challenges.