The paper will analyze Wyrod Roberts research that investigated the relationship between masculinity and coping with the effects of living with AIDS among men in a section of the city of Kampala, Uganda. The analysis will involve identifying the purpose of the research, the research method used, and the manner in which data was collected. To achieve this, the analysis will draw from existing literature on research techniques and the implications of such approaches on research outcomes.
Designing the research purpose is one of the most important steps in carrying out a research on any given discipline. This step informs readers of the reason that motivates scholars to launch an academic inquiry into a particular phenomenon. According to Drew, Hardman, and Hosp (2008), the research purpose informs the audience that a particular research project intends to add something new to the academic world. It entails seeking an explanation for a given phenomenon, or monitoring a certain event, or testing hypothesis, among others. Often, the purpose informs readers that limited research has been conducted in the area of focus.
Accordingly, Wyrods research seeks to investigate the role of stigma in the fight against AIDS in Uganda. First, he notes that understanding of stigma is critical for successful campaigns against HIV/AIDS. Besides, he introduces the reader to the effect of culture on stigmatization of people living with AIDS. Although there exists a copious amount of literature on the impact of stigma on the fight against AIDS in Africa, Wyrod notes that little is known in regards to the role of masculinity in the persistence of stigma among HIV-positive Ugandan men. As such, he intends to introduce something new to the academic community. By so doing, Wyrod seeks to fill a research gap thereby addressing the most important requirement of a research purpose.
Research Method Used
Throughout Wyrods paper, it is evident that he employed the qualitative approach to generate findings and formulate his discussion. In the paper, several indicators corroborate the use of the qualitative method in carrying out his investigation. Evidence of the use of observations, participation in outreach activities, interviews, and group discussions affirms that Wyrod used to the qualitative method to conduct his study.
The qualitative method may be preferred to quantitative approaches due to its effectiveness in some types of studies. In other words, the purpose of the study influences the research method that should be used so as to come up data that is representative of the sample (Yin, 2015). Since the purpose of the study was to investigate the effect of stigma on the fight against AIDS, it is appropriate to employ a qualitative approach due to its ability to give more accurate information relating to the human side of the issue. The human aspect of an issue involves emotions, opinions, behaviors and beliefs. These aspects of a human being are very complex and, thus, researchers may not rely on quantitative techniques to obtain representative data. Moreover, qualitative techniques are also effective in identifying intangible variables such as ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and gender roles which may not be available in quantitative terms (Yin, 2015; Brikci, 2007).Given the above, it can be termed as appropriate for Wyrod to have used qualitative approaches to obtain data about the expectations of men in African (and more specifically Ugandan) settings due to the complexity of the interplay between such expectations and mental reactions of men towards AIDS infections.
How Data was Gathered
Participant observation is one the attributes of the research paper which indicate that a qualitative method was employed in collecting data. This approach requires that researchers interact directly with individuals on a one-on-one basis or in a group setting. Despite its time-consuming nature, this method is appropriate in collecting data from individuals while in naturally-occurring contexts (Yin, 2015). In a medical context, this method seeks to understand the experiences and attitudes of patients, health workers and communities (Brikci, 2007) in regards to a particular health concern. In this regard, Wyrod participates in several activities that enable him to obtain information from AIDS patients in a low-income neighborhood in Kampala. For instance, Wyrod participated in the activities of Bwaise Positive Mens Union which targeted men in the community. Moreover, he attended weekly meetings as well as assisted in the preparation of outreach materials for the group. This way, he managed to record events of each day of which he summarized and analyzed to come up with quality data (p.46).
A researcher may also conduct individual interviews to obtain data under the qualitative method of research. This technique entails a one-on-one question answer engagement with persons that are likely to provide representative information in regards to a particular area of interest .Interviews are an effective way of collecting data about individuals life history and also perspectives on a given social issue. In particular, this approach is appropriate when collecting data sensitive data about individuals life (Brikci, 2007; Yin, 2015).In Wyrods paper, several interviews were conducted to obtain information about experiences in the context of the culture of the Bwaise community. Information gathered in this manner is critical to drawing accurate interpretations of attitude which is a significant component of stigma. Wyrod documents that the views of the core members Bwaise Positive Mens Union, clinic staff and social workers were sought during the research. These interviews delved into aspects such as the notion of ideal men and women, work, HIV testing, and the history of sexual relationships, among others. For instance, Wyrod obtained sensitive information about the intimate lives of Joseph and Richard through interviews. The interviews revealed confidential information about the past intimate relationships of the two individuals which may not be obtained using qualitative techniques.
Another important source of data in this research paper was group discussions. This is also a significant element of qualitative research. This method is effective in obtaining data on cultural norms of a given group (Brikci, 2007). In this case, Bwaise Positive Mens Union constitutes a subgroup that can be relied to obtain views on stigma against people living with AIDS. Wyrod engaged in various group discussions which centered on the issues that were affecting the ability of the union to achieve its objectives in the community. For instance, Wyrods discussions with Joseph and Mukasa reveal a lot of issues which encourage stigmatization of men living with AIDS.
From the literature review and discussion, it is evident that qualitative techniques were appropriate in carrying out the research. This is due to the ability of the method to elicit information which relates complex factors such as ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and gender roles. As such, Wyrod manages to penetrate into the relationship between culture and stigmatization of men living with AIDS in section of Kampala, Uganda.
Brikci, N. (2007). A Guide to Using Qualitative Research Methodology. Retrieved from https://d1pbog36rugm0t.cloudfront.net/-/media/science/research-and-teaching/teaching/qualitative-research-methodology.pdf
Drew, C. J., Hardman, M. L., & Hosp, J. L. (2008). Designing and conducting research in education. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE.
Wyrod, R. (2011). Masculinity and the persistence of AIDS stigma. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 13(4), 443-456. doi:10.1080/13691058.2010.542565
Yin, R. K. (2015). Qualitative research from start to finish (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Publications.
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