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Premier League players constitute a group of people who come from different backgrounds and belong to various ethical groups. One might say that wide diversity within the football industry can imply different consequences and carry potential problematic issues and challenges for the players who originate from minority groups in the UK. The paper has mentioned the research that revealed that around 25% of the players in the English Premier League come from ethical minority groups (Chu et al., 2014). Consequently, this league represents a highly diverse entity with individuals from differentiating backgrounds. Racism in the football industry is a widely spread phenomenon and can be expressed in numerous ways, including the level of respect, presence of biases, pay rates and other areas (Chu et al., 2014). It is crucial to research the topic of racism within the Premier League and analyse potential consequences. The focus of this report is to identify the physical and mental effects of racial discrimination on the Premier League players.
The Mixed Method
A mixture of interpretive and positivist approaches was chosen to conduct the following research. This work aims to provide a full picture of the real issue, and it is fundamental to understand the essence of the problem through the investigation of the players’ personal opinions and their experiences. Consequently, the research implies the active involvement of qualitative analysis techniques. At the same time, it is crucial to learn about the scope of the issue, which can be withdrawn with the help of quantitative data analysis. According to Brannen (2017), the use of a qualitative method can be characterised as analytic induction, while the primary association with quantitative techniques is enumerative induction. Those aspects emphasised the significance of both approaches because it will give a clearer understanding of racism and its impacts on the Premier League and will offer a statistical observation.
It is essential to mention that the use of a mixed method offers various advantages for the research, where the integration of the interpretive approach lays out the foundation for the positivist tactic and vice versa. According to Hesse-Biber and Johnson (2015:xxxvi), “qualitative designs often serve to inform the context of their quantitative results by grounding them in lived experience.” Therefore, in the chosen research topic, the analysis of the views of the players who have faced racism in their career can give suggestions for quantitative questions. For example, during the interviews that were chosen as the primary qualitative tool, additional issues can be identified. Further, through questionnaires and surveys, it will be possible to determine the scope of the problems detected during the interviews. One can argue that there is a direct connection between the statistical data and individual problem description within the issue of racism in the Premier League and its implications.
Advantages of the Qualitative Methods
At this point, it is critical to observe the benefits and disadvantages of each approach used in the mixed method. First, the interpretive tactic aims to provide the researchers with insights on the issue from those who have experienced racism consequences in the football industry. Interpretivism can be characterised as a direct subjective observation but with the persistence to get a more in-depth reflection (Purnamasari, 2016). Another description of interpretivism’ objectives is to retrieve a detailed understanding of the behaviours, attitudes and reactions and their causes (Oun and Bach, 2014). Hence, the interpretive approach implicates the qualitative study directed at the investigation of the aspects from a subjective perspective of the study’s participants.
One of the primary advantages of the interpretive method is the depth of the analysis. It is essential to note that the qualitative approach can help to produce “the thick description of participants’ feelings, opinions, and experiences” (Rahman, 2017:104). Racism in the Premier League represents a sensitive issue, which requires a detailed explanation of feelings to understand potential physical and mental effects. Thus, it is a significant benefit that this approach helps to get real opinions and observe the emotions of those who were influenced by the examined problem.
Further, it is crucial to talk about the feature of the interpretive method that is the individual approach towards the researched issue. According to Rahman (2017), the use of this method provides a possibility of understanding various opinions, events and meanings. In other words, the use of qualitative analysis gives an ability to observe the issue of racism’s effects from different perspectives. The evaluation of an individual’s views generates a deeper meaning of the research’s results. Another advantage is that through interpretivism, a researcher can discover private experiences, which will help them to figure out one’s opinion in the context of the cultural background (Rahman, 2017). It is valuable for the proposed research topic because it directly involves the fact that the participants come from diverse groups and can have different perceptions of the racism issue.
Disadvantages of the Qualitative Methods
The interviews with the players from the English Premier League, unfortunately, cannot provide the broad view on the issue due to the research’s limitations, meaning a low number of participants because of the narrow access. The qualitative part of the approach will involve data collection and data analysis. As mentioned in the paper, the access to conduct interviews will be granted to 15-20 players, which is not a sufficient sample, taking into consideration that the English Premier League consists of 20 teams. In such a way, one of the opposing sides of the qualitative method in this research is the insufficient amount of the initial information. Although the number of players who will be interviewed is not high, the duration of the interview and thorough analysis of the results can provide high-quality and in-depth information.
Another significant disadvantage of the interpretive method is time dedication. The objective to get detailed results requires each of the interviews to last around 1 hour. Consequently, the qualitative part of the research will occupy a prolonged period to withdraw useful materials for further analysis. Besides the time dedicated to individual interviews, the research team must invest enough time in the information’s investigation and the withdrawal of relevant data.
Advantages of the Quantitative Methods
As mentioned before, this work will integrate the mixed approach to answer the research question, and the paragraphs above discuss the positive and negative sides of the interpretive method. The quantitative method section provides the statistics from the Kick It Out group, which reveals that among the incidents reported during the 2017-2018 playing season, more than 50% of the claims concerned racial issues (Kick It Out, 2018). In such a way, one can say that being aware of the numbers and statistical data within the problem of investigation gives a more explicit representation of the aspects that require attention. It is also crucial to investigate the essence of the positivist method to understand which values it can bring to the study and which limitations it might set on it.
One of the primary methods from a positivist approach used in the research is the surveys. The aim is to issue the survey to the specific groups influenced by racial discrimination in the football industry. Besides, the research team will get access to the existing data from the organisation to systematically analyse the information and see if it can offer relevant insights. One of the primary advantages of this quantitative method is “the high representativeness” (Queirós et al., 2017:381). In such a way, the surveys make it possible to reach a sufficient amount of data, which produces the results based on a greater scope. Conducting the surveys that aim to reveal the percentage of the players in the Premier League who have experienced the consequences of racism is relevant. Also, identifying specific physical and moral impacts through specially designed questionnaires generates useful findings for the research topic.
Besides giving a more precise value to the issue’s investigation, quantitative techniques offer other advantages. Among them, there is the absence of the researcher’s subjectivity, shorter time to develop the method, more accessible collection of data and cost-effectiveness (Queirós et al., 2017). With those benefits, the positivist approach adds value to the study’s findings and reveals the facts relevant to the issue of racism and its influences. Although the request for the information from various organisations and the surveys will occupy some time, it is still an efficient way of obtaining necessary facts to answer the research question.
Disadvantages of the Quantitative Methods
The quantitative methods’ implementation, along with qualitative, provides its advantages, but also imposes burdens for the success of the study. One of the disadvantages of using the positivist approach is that data reliability highly depends on the quality of retrieved information and survey answers (Queirós et al., 2017). The research seeks to gather the most reliable information, for the results to be as reliable as possible and for them to provide a real state of things within the English Premier League. In such a way, it is fundamental for the researchers to remember to conduct the prior check of the information that they obtain and collaborate with trustworthy organisations.
Another significant disadvantage of the quantitative methods in this specific case is the inability to understand the emotional side of the issue. According to Queirós et al. (2017:382), the surveys “don’t capture emotions, behaviour and changes of emotions of respondents.” Besides, the structure of the positivist approach implies a highly rigid structure, which might also prevent the study from obtaining relevant facts and information (Queirós et al., 2017). Consequently, quantitative analysis limits the research findings to a specific extent, producing cold results. The findings withdrawn from the surveys and organisations’ data analysis provide clear discoveries but do not offer in-depth explorations connected to the problem.
The Benefits of Using the Mixed Method
In the case of the racism issue and its effects on the Premier League players, it is essential to look beyond the statistical findings. Therefore, the implementation of the mixed method helps to eliminate the adverse aspects of one approach through the advantages of another. The scholars claim that the combination of qualitative and quantitative methods has the potential to produce the results that are more transferrable and credible (Ivankova and Wingo, 2018). It is the reason why the mixed approach suits the chosen research question. The observation of the benefits and disadvantages of each approach proves that quantitative methods complete the qualitative ones, providing the results that take into consideration all the relevant aspects of the study.
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Also, across various disciplines, the mixed method represents “a sound and pragmatic research approach”, which implies the production of meaningful results and recommendations (Ivankova and Wingo, 2018:978). The description of the chosen methods, such as interviews and surveys, is described in the report. It emphasises the importance of each technique for the full investigation and credibility of the racism issue and its impacts within the chosen audience. In such a way, the mixed approach will help to generate useful findings that will bring value to the awareness about the racism issue in the Premier League and its potential consequences.
In conclusion, it is crucial to mention that the chosen research topic emphasises the current problem that can influence not only the players in the Premier League but other stakeholders as well. According to Lawrence (2017:137), although numerous organisations, players and managers offer support to various anti-racist campaigns, the attempts cannot demolish “the structural factors that restrict participation in the professional sphere.” Consequently, it is fundamental to draw more attention to the problem and provide the foundation for the involved parties to portray their concerns. The provision of relevant findings and the scope of the problem and its impacts can encourage the stakeholders to speak out and demand stricter measures. Understanding that racial incidents have different physical and mental effects on the players in the Premier League is crucial and helps to combat the further spread of the related issues.
Brannen, J. (2017) Mixing methods: qualitative and quantitative research. New York: Routledge.
Chu, J., Nadarajah, S., Afuecheta, E., Chan, S. and Xu, Y. (2014) ‘A statistical study of racism in English football.’ Quality & Quantity, 48(5) pp. 2915-2937.
Hesse-Biber, S.N. and Johnson, R.B. (eds.) (2015) The Oxford handbook of multimethod and mixed methods research inquiry. New York: Oxford University Press.
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