Qingyun Fan (University of Jyväskylä)
Co-author: Marjo Kuronen, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Topic: Conducting Comparative Qualitative Research with Older People in Cross-Cultural Content
The impact of cultural context on respondents is a critical consideration in international comparative qualitative research. Neglecting potential cultural influences may result in inaccurate expressions from respondents. The authors of this article draw on their previous cross-country comparative case studies in China and Europe to examine culturally relevant phenomena and their underlying theories. The article emphasizes the importance of recognizing and incorporating cultural impact throughout the research process, from data collection and analysis to presenting findings in cross-cultural interviews. It also discusses proper methods for embedding cultural interpretations in data analysis.
One significant finding from the study was that Chinese respondents were more concerned about group consensus, reflecting the influence of collectivism and authority. Future researchers in China should take this into account and consider conducting interviews in public spaces such as parks and teahouses to avoid a direct link to authority. Additionally, the interview structure should focus on the action or behaviour and its impact.
In conclusion, this article stresses the importance of recognizing and addressing cultural impact in international comparative qualitative research. By embedding cultural interpretations in data analysis and conducting interviews with the cultural context in mind, researchers can obtain meaningful cross-cultural comparisons and valuable insights.