The Association for Qualitative Research
The Hub of Qualitative Thinking

InDepth Spring 2015

Welcome to a special edition of In Depth, celebrating 35 years of AQR. Think about it, in another 35 years it will be 2050. It's a long time… It feels particularly long as we are experiencing a time of unprecedented change in research.

In the age of free data, what is qual for?
'Quant' is a lot smarter than it used to be. Social listening and implicit response are both approaches that deliver a faster and fuller picture of the real world, and Big Data continues its relentless march.

Insight beyond impact
'Bringing research to life' has become a repetitive mantra, but what exactly does it mean? If insight is to make an impact beyond the research department, it has to go 'viral', and clients need to encourage other stakeholders to challenge insight teams with their own information and interpretation.

Predicting the next Frozen
The money that big names such as Walt Disney, Warner Brothers and Nickleodeon continue to invest in media products for kids shows the relative buoyancy of this market. The fly in the ointment is how do you bank on a winner when kids' appetites change so swiftly and their use of technology likewise? This is where qualitative research can fit in.

Research in an ethical future?
As it's the AQR's 35th anniversary, and since the author has hit the same age, what could be more apt than to explore just what 'ethical qualitative research' means in the digital world? Interviewing experts on both sides of the 35 divide leads him to conclude that terminology might be a red herring: it's how we listen to people that's important.

Why qual needs to get carnal
There is constant pressure on qualitative research to drive tangible results, but even when it does there is no guarantee that the client audience will absorb and act on the findings at more than one level of the organisation. So let's hear it for a new way of building understanding: head, heart, hands.

Moustaches, machismo and masala
Indian society seems to defy analysis, but viewed through the lens of Hindi cinema we are taken on a journey that illustrates its complexities and its paradoxes – and we may never be the same again.