On Creating Dangerously

“I am even more certain that to create dangerously is also to create fearlessly, boldly embracing the public and private terrors that would silence us, then bravely moving forward even when it feels as though we are chasing or being chased by ghosts”.

(Danticat, 2011, pg. 148)

The discussion of theoretical frameworks by on Anfara and Mertz (2017) Clearly articulates the rationale for the use of theoretical frameworks in qualitative research. They provide many examples and exemplars of how theoretical frameworks impact the research process and the researcher. A framework offers both a challenge and opportunity to examine the research phenomenon meaning ways.
At its core, a theoretical framework offers concepts, constructs, definitions and language that leads to propositions that support an over arching theory about relationship. A frameworks offer a map, or lens for determining the process and interpreting the results. Through a theoretical framework, there is a unique way of perceiving reality. In this text, the authors assert there is no “immaculate perception“ and note that all researchers come to the research process with biases, proclivities, and worldviews that impact our research process and the interpretation of the results. The selection identification of a theoretical framework allows the researcher to make explicit the researchers point of view. Theoretical frameworks reveal the implicit and explicit bias, culture, perceptions… “values, frames, and rhetorical [disposition]” (Anfara and Mertz 2017, p. 12).

While a theoretical framework may help us to organize and focus study allowing and inquirer to reveal new meaning and understanding of a given phenomenon, it is in perfect. While there is an opportunity for revealing, and seeing information in particular ways, something is always obscured. It is critical to take note of what aspect of the phenomenon is not being addressed. This allows the reader to understand what the focus is, and what is not – situates the research in the greater scholarly narrative Identifying a theoretical framework allows the researcher to fulfill the responsibility to clearly articulate how this research sits within a scholarly conversation. Identifying the theoretical framework is one way to do that using a common language and a known conceptual viewpoint. From this vantage point the researcher is better able to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of a given framework, supporting or advancing the theory or identifying questions for further research.From this reading I understand that theory underpins all research, as none of us come to the inquiry as a blank slate. Finding the right theoretical framework may pose a challenge, and more than one may apply. The benefits of a theory allow you to frame the research within scholarly conversations, while the drawbacks are noting that some part or some perspective will be obfuscated in the inquiry.
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