Physis: Revista de Saúde Coletiva
versão impressa ISSN 0103-7331
PENARANDA, Fernando; BASTIDAS, Miryam; TORRES, Julio Nicolas e ESCOBAR, Gloria Matilde. Qualitative research as a social, historical and political practice guided by principles. Physis [online]. 2011, vol.21, n.4, pp. 1191-1205. ISSN 0103-7331. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-73312011000400002.
This paper presents the learning products of a permanent reflective process about the research method used in the project "Towards a construction of an educational proposal of child rearing founded in a dialog of knowledge", conducted in Medellín (Colombia) from 2007 to 2009. At the beginning it was defined a Participatory Action Research method, but as the project was developed and responding to field demands, interactions between actors and to findings, the research team was forced to adjust the methodological approach. This change went beyond including new research techniques or modifying activities. It was a process in which the method gained new meaning. We started to understand it in a more open and flexible way, as we went on taking contributions from different methodological perspectives. But there was a guide that we kept as a reference for adjusting the method: principles settled at the beginning of the project, which were written as expected outcomes. From a dialectic perspective, the research method was understood as "becoming" in a context of totality, where it cannot be understood outside the study object. In this way, method is conceived as a social, historical and political practice, which demands a complex negotiation process, under an idea of rigor, founded in principles as a set of values that guide research.
Palavras-chave : qualitative research; method; rigor; reflection; principles.