Exploring 100 key questions (and answers) on the nature and practice of qualitative inquiry, this unique book addresses the practical decisions that researchers must make in their work, from the design of the study, through ethics approval, implementation, and writing. The book’s quick-scan, question-and-answer format make it ideal as a supplementary text or as a ready reference for graduate students preparing for comprehensive exams and writing research proposals, undergraduates in affiliated programs who will not be taking a primary course in qualitative research methods, and researchers working across disciplines in academic or practice environments.

What Is the Difference Between a Research Participant and a Research Subject?

What Is the Difference Between a Research Participant and a Research Subject?

Qualitative researchers describe the people involved in their studies as participants, as they believe the term best captures the complexity of the research relationship. The word subject implies that people are, literally, the thing that is being studied—the subject or topic under investigation. As qualitative research examines processes, perceptions, and meanings related to phenomena, the term subject is quite limiting in its application. Similarly, the term also implies that researchers subject people to their research plans, rather than involving them in the investigation and allowing them to shape the design of the project.

The term participant is used to reflect people’s active ...

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