November 06, 2015

Weekly Ramblings Part Two: Literature Review and Literature Reading

Welcome to the second part! You ready? Previous blog post didn’t put you off? Excellent! The other major activity that I have been involved with this week is thinking about the literature review and reading through the literature that I have been collecting.

The literature review

As the regular readers (if there are any, hello out there!) shall probably know by now (I’ve been going on and on about it and shall do for the time being) I’ve been thinking about the literature review for a while: its structure, content, and general approach to it. I had been thinking earlier the previous year about adopting a Critical Interpretive Analysis approach to constructing a literature review but I have now realised this is not going to work. This is because the Critical Interpretive Approach from what I can understand is not compatible with the Grounded Theory approach that I have now decided to use as the general research methodology.

What has to be remembered when writing the Ph.D. thesis is that the construction of the literature review must be compatible with whatever research methodological approach is utalised. You cannot write a meta analysis literature review (which is a quantitative approach to analysing literature) if your research methodology is qualitative as it just would not work and would be incompatible, from my current understanding. The Critical Interpretive Analysis would have resulted in a theoretical or conceptual framework developed from the findings of existing literature, which could have been used to lead the research directions and subsequent discussions; however, Grounded Theory opposes the use of a theoretical framework in this way because it advocates an inductive, theory building approach and not a deductive approach or an approach where some sort of preexisting theoretical framework is used to drive analysis of the data.

The approach to and purpose of the literature review must therefore change, and I do have ideas that I am developing with regards to this but shall have to read more literature on Grounded Theory and its application within existing Ph.Ds. for further assistance and examples.

Literature Reading

Excellent progress during the week and I have worked out now what learning models referring to various learning processes that shall be analysed, critiqued, compared and contrasted in order to find similarities and differences. The critiques and reflections shall be used then to provide reasoning as to why the foundations of all of these models have been incorrectly built and why they do not really capture the full and true essence of the learning processes they are attempting to model or theorise about. Indeed, I’ve come across literature that has applied some of these models and they concur that some of these models really don’t capture that full essence. Obviously there is still lots to read and search as I have to show evidence that I have exhausted the literature as much as possible until I reach literature saturation point, which is the point where I can reasonably conclude that findings across literature demonstrates particular patterns across the different areas of investigation interests.

Along with all the reading I’ve also written extensive notes, and this is a brilliant idea to do so because as reading progresses there shall always be opportunities and possibilities to develop ideas so it is always best to write everything down and not discard anything. 

In all it’s been an interesting week with that discussion about Social Justice and the ideas that have been continuously developed as a result of continuous reading. ‘Till next time, make sure you check your bonfires for animals, and try not to get too close to fireworks, and if you are attending any events this weekend do be safe and have fun!

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