Qualitative Open Mic: Qualitative Conundrums - Victoria Clarke on saturation

16 Mar 2022

New series: Qualitative Conundrums

Victoria Clarke

Qualitative research often brings up a lot of questions for researchers with much debate and few clear answers. This series aims to tackle some of the fundamental questions we face conducting qualitative research and provide insight from experts into ways to address these qualitative conundrums.

In this episode

In the first episode in this series, we are pleased to welcome Victoria Clarke. Victoria almost needs no introduction, as her work on Thematic Analysis with Virginia Braun is known by pretty much everyone who has ever done qualitative research. Victoria is Associate Professor in Qualitative and Critical Psychology at the University of the West of England, teaching and conducting research in the intersecting areas of qualitative and critical psychology, sexuality and gender, family and relationships, and appearance and embodiment.

Today, she talks with Sohail about saturation, covering a wide range of discussion points:

  • They begin by reviewing the context and history of saturation, and how it became a generic concept despite not being theoretically neutral.
  • They then discuss the challenges of working around the concept of saturation when it is now often demanded by journal editors, reviewers, and examiners.
  • Victoria reflects on the need to bring about culture change within qualitative research, highlighting the need for qualitative research to have its own set of values recognising the diversity of approaches, rather than trying to fit within the positivist paradigm.
  • They discuss longitudinal qualitative research and whether saturation has a place in this work.
  • Finally, Victoria stresses the importance of teaching qualitative research in a values centred way that recognises the diversity of approaches and inspires confidence in using qualitative approaches in a less positivist way.

Listen below, or on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.