New pathways to analysis through thick description: Historical trauma and emerging qualitative researchedit
Qualitative methods open analytical pathways and present specific challenges, particularly for early career scholars forging a path in a field dominated by quantitative inquiry. However, for many scholars, qualitative methods reflect a particular ontological point of view, which tends toward privileging the experiences of groups that are often marginalized in research. Given this point of view, qualitative methodologies provide an opportunity to reframe the participant’s en vivo description of their own experience. In so doing, qualitative methods invite scholars to create new analytical pathways. This paper highlights the work of social work scholars using qualitative methods to forge new paths in studying emergent phenomena, e.g., Internet gang banging, transgender perspectives on aging, etc. The paper also explores the use of qualitative methods to develop new analytical perspectives on experiences of historic and contemporary trauma related to the Tuskegee Syphilis Study and in child welfare settings.