The essential role of social theory in qualitative public health research

Willis, Karen, Daly, Jeanne, Kealy, Michelle, Small, Rhonda, Koutroulis, Glenda, Green, Julie, Gibbs, Lisa and Thomas, Samantha 2007, The essential role of social theory in qualitative public health research, Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, vol. 31, no. 5, pp. 438-443, doi: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2007.00115.x.

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Title The essential role of social theory in qualitative public health research
Author(s) Willis, Karen
Daly, Jeanne
Kealy, Michelle
Small, Rhonda
Koutroulis, Glenda
Green, Julie
Gibbs, Lisa
Thomas, SamanthaORCID iD for Thomas, Samantha
Journal name Australian and New Zealand journal of public health
Volume number 31
Issue number 5
Start page 438
End page 443
Total pages 6
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2007-10
ISSN 1326-0200
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
social theory
Summary OBJECTIVE: To define the role of social theory and examine how research studies using qualitative methods can use social theory to generalize their results beyond the setting of the study or to other social groups. APPROACH: The assumptions underlying public health research using qualitative methods derive from a range of social theories that include conflict theory, structural functionalism, symbolic interactionism, the sociology of knowledge and feminism. Depending on the research problem, these and other social theories provide conceptual tools and models for constructing a suitable research framework, and for collecting and analysing data. In combination with the substantive health literature, the theoretical literature provides the conceptual bridge that links the conclusions of the study to other social groups and settings. CONCLUSION: While descriptive studies using qualitative research methods can generate important insights into social experience, the use of social theory in the construction and conduct of research enables researchers to extrapolate their findings to settings and groups broader than the ones in which the research was conducted.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2007.00115.x
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2007, The Authors
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Health and Social Development
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