The Role of Sampling in Qualitative Research

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Many qualitative researchers state that sample size and sampling are not issues in qualitative research. However, we argue that making sampling and sample size considerations is central to qualitative research. First, we refute arguments made by qualitative researchers who claim that sampling and sample size considerations are not relevant. Second, we contend that sampling represents a multidimensional construct. Third, we posit that most qualitative studies involve some type of analytical generalization. Thus, choosing a sample size and sampling scheme represent an active process of reflection.