It is research that uses, as its primary source of information, texts that have not been converted to closed/restricted or numerical forms.
Qualitative research is practiced in diverse disciplinary fields and interdisciplinary arenas, and it is applied to multiple kinds of social issues and problems.
The modern roots of qualitative research methodology can be traced from the rise of anthropology and sociology as disciplinary areas.
Small scale pre-industrial social organization (bands, tribes, clans, kingdoms; rural, agrarian, animal husbandry)
Disappearing cultures and languages
Places within the realm of colonized countries
Large scale evolving industrial society (bureaucracies, institutions, urban areas, industries)
Emerging social problems: newsboys, office workers, management, unemployment
Places within the realm of industrializing countries
Both disciplines raise issues at the intersection of colonialism and industrialization.
The history of qualitative research and its development has evolved from colonial to post-colonial. This struggel is deeply connected to the themes, interests, and direction the methodology has taken.