Research Question – Need for expert advice

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    Greetings to all,

    I am hyping for the start of my Case Research on the following case at hand:

    Type of Research Question:        Relationship establishing: Causal of Independent Variable to the        


    Independent variable:                  Racial dissonance

    Dependent variable                     Land tenure conflicts

    Units of analysis:                        Group1:               iTaukei native land owners

                                                     Group 2:              Indo-Fijian native land tenants

    Site:                                           Ba Province, Fiji

    Please assist me in formulating a suitable Research Question. Your advice and comments on the topic would be also very interesting .

    Much thanks,

    Sivnit Mudaliar

    Stephen Gorard

    You have this the wrong way around. Settle the RQ first. Once you know what you want to find out then think about the most appropriate research design.

    But your notes on the question suggest you want to find out about a causal process, and therefore we know already that a case study is not appropriate (in fact it would be the least suitable of the common designs).  


    Thanks Stephen for your insight. Let me rephrase myself;

    I would like to find out

    RQ:     What are the potential racial dissonance that is inducing land tenure conflicts between iTaukei native land owners and the respective Indo-Fijian native land tenants in Ba Province, Fiji.

    Please critique on this (harshly if you have to).

    Stephen Gorard

    My first concern would be the presumption of the question. Do we know that racial dissonance is a cause? If so what more can you find out? If not your research will fail because the question assumes it.


    Note the difference to:


    What is the role of racial dissonance in…..?


    Because the latter allows the answer no role at all. You must allow yourself to be surprised by your findings.


    Then – your question and mine are both causal. So you need a causal research design.


    Perhaps read.



    before proceeding.

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