The Usage of Qualitative Research Methods as Means to Empower Disadvantaged Groups: The Example of the Kedma School in Jerusalem

By Yehuda Bar Shalom and Michal Krumer-Nevo.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This article is based on a critical perspective that views any act of research as a political act. Research is a political act since it not only reflects existing reality, but also influences and creates reality, whether by supporting, affirming, and reinforcing existing reality, or by criticizing it and advocating change. The researcher’s position regarding reality influences their choice of subject and the questions they raise, as well as the selection of research procedures to be applied. The words the researcher chooses in order to describe their findings and conclusions structure the object/subject addressed by their research and the balance of power between these (Ife, 1997).

In one of his early poems, The Israeli poet Amichai writes: “Of three or four people in a room / One always stands by the window / Forced to see the injustice among the thorns / And the fires on the hill…” (Amichai, 1958). Identification with the approach that views research as a political act leads researchers to a position similar to that of the “person by the window” who is “forced to see the injustice…” It leads researchers to observe, document, and explain oppressive, unjust, and unequal social orders and structures from a critical perspective, with the goal of leading to changes (Lewin, 1948; Fine & Vanderslice, 1992).

Keywords: Qualitative Research, Working with Disadvantaged Populations, The Kedma School, Excluded Groups in Israel

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp.237-244. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 528.893KB).

Prof. Yehuda Bar Shalom

Chair of Education Studies, Education Studies, David Yellin College of Education, Jerusalem, Israel

Dr. Bar shalom has done research in the following topics: Arab Jewish relations, religious and secular encounter in Israel, changes in Israeli society, multicultural education. He serves as the Chair of Education Studies at the David Yellin College of Education and is co-founder of the Network for social entrepreneurship in conjunction with Jerusalem’s municipality. Yehuda also teaches Jewish identity in Israel and the Diaspora at the Tel Aviv University Overseas Student Program. He is the author of “Educating Israel: Educational Entrepreneurship in Israel’s Multicultural Society”. (New York: Palgrave, 2006).

Dr. Michal Krumer-Nevo

Department of Social Work and, The Israeli Center for Qualitative Methodologies, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel


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