sensitizing (dis)comfort

There’s a really great device that Michael Quinn Patton suggests using in developmental evaluation called ‘sensitizing concepts’. He’s borrowed it from qualitative research methods as a way of providing guidance to inquiry in complexity. Here’s a definition he gives in his qualitative methods book that came out a few years ago:

“Sensitizing concepts are terms, phrases, labels, and constructs that invite inquiry into what they mean to people in the setting(s) being studied. ... Qualitative inquiry using sensitizing concepts leaves terms purposefully undefined to find out what they mean to people in a setting. Sensitizing concepts are windows into a group’s worldview.”

Read More