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Chapter Five 1999 Post-Elections Period - Leicester Research ...

Chapter Five 1999 Post-Elections Period - Leicester Research ...

83 As a safe-guard, Borg

83 As a safe-guard, Borg and Gall (1989, p.19-21) urge the researcher and those who use the research findings to examine “the weight of accumulated evidence”. Other qualitative researchers urge the researcher to broaden his/her perspective with those of others (Gadamer, 1975; Scott and Usher, 1996, p.21-22; van Gorp, 2010, p.93). Other qualitative researchers propose a peer review process as another way of validating the qualitative research process. Brophy (2008, p.29) explain that this form of validation: . . . involves exposing the narrative, or other evidence, to people with expertise to critique it. This is very similar to the process of „peer review‟ which many academic journals use to distinguish submitted papers which are worth publishing from those which are not. According to Johnson (1997), the qualitative researcher should submit his interpretation and conclusions to the scrutiny of professional peers. In this respect, the peers should be skeptical and challenge the researcher to provide solid evidence for his analysis and conclusions. The peers should also provide useful insights for adjusting the interpretations should any be needed. In this study, especially at the axial coding level, the researcher submitted his scheme of categorisation of the coded paragraphs to two lecturers at the University of Malawi. One of these lecturers is in the Department of Media Studies at the Polytechnic in Blantyre and the other is in the Department of Language and Development Communication at Bunda College of Agriculture. Working together, the two colleagues basically agreed with the researcher in his categorisation of the coded paragraphs with a few suggestions on the labelling of the frames. The peer reviewers of this study sent back their comments suggesting some adjustments to the labelling of the frames and the merging of others (See Appendix VI).

3.6 Limitations of the Study 84 Having discussed the stages used to analyse the data, it is appropriate to discuss the limitations inherent in the methods adopted for this study. The main weaknesses of this study‟s methodology lie in the contested nature of frame theory as a theory in mass communication and qualitative research methods as the technical tool used to analyse the data. Other limitations include the use of CAQDAS and the data size. Beginning with the limitations poised by frame measurement, this section will discuss these limitations and how they have been overcome in adapting this methodology for this study. 3.6.1 Frame Measurement The strength of the study lies in its use of the definition of a frame to identify frames in the corpora. Entman (1993)‟s widely accepted definition provides the framework of analysis by using the frame components. However, using frame theory to analyse political discourse comes with its own problems. “Frame analysis is no longer Goffman‟s frame analysis,” writes Koenig (2004), arguing that frame analysis is now only loosely connected to Goffman‟s original conception. Koenig and others (Maher, 2001, p. 84) have suggested that the greatest difficulty in the analysis comes with the identification and measurement of frames because frames consist of tacit rather than overt conjectures. Goffman (1974) said that frames are not consciously manufactured but are unconsciously adopted in the course of communication. Snow and Benford (1988) call frames “conceptual scaffolding”. So, if indeed frames are more conceptual than concrete, how then do we measure them?

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