Sociology Index


Qualitative Research

Quantitative research is research using methods allowing for the measurement of variables within a collection of people or groups and resulting in numerical data subjected to statistical analysis. By its very nature quantitative research is a form of positivism.

Strategies in Qualitative and Quantitative Research - Harald Witt
Conducting qualitative and quantitative research does not merely involve different methods for data collection and analysis; an even more fundamental difference concerns the research strategies used. Differences in this respect are so considerable that communication about research strategies between quantitative researchers and qualitative researchers is beset with difficulties - even among "qualitative" researchers. This contribution is an attempt to pinpoint the most important differences. Qualitative research is exemplified by the approach put forward by KLEINING (1982; 1995). KLEINING has stressed the importance of the heuristic moment in qualitative research; he assumes that all research methods are based on everyday methods, and he has advanced four rules for conducting qualitative research. The research strategy resulting on this basis can be described as circular; it will be contrasted with the linear strategy used in quantitative research.

Seeing Our Quantitative Counterparts: Construction of Qualitative Research in a Roundtable Discussion - Jean A. Saludadez & Primo G. Garcia
Abstract: The research relationship between qualitative and quantitative researchers is influenced by their constructions of one another's research approaches. While we, as qualitative researchers, have our own construction of quantitative research we seldom get quantitative people's construction of qualitative research. In this paper, we present our quantitative counterpart's construction of qualitative research in the form of themes we derived collaboratively from a small roundtable discussion on the use of the qualitative approach for research management studies. We define 'construction' as the meaning structure shared by the participants on the relationship between qualitative and quantitative research. This exercise has implications for our presentation of qualitative research as a complementary research approach to quantitative research and on our on-going construction of the quantitative research qualitative research relationship.

Discovery as Basic Methodology of Qualitative Research and Quantitative Research
Gerhard Kleining & Harald Witt
Abstract: The paper argues that methodologies of qualitative research in psychology and the social sciences should be directed toward discoveries rather than reflexive interpretations. It gives a critical account of hermeneutics and the "interpretative paradigm" pointing to three drawbacks: inherent subjectivity of interpretations, restriction to Geisteswissenschaft or the qualitative form of data and a recent tendency of dissolution of rules in what is said to be a crisis of qualitative research (DENZIN & LINCOLN 1994, pp.577f). It shows how quantitative research data can be handled in an explorative approach. After a look at discovering methods in the natural sciences the authors conclude that discoveries should be a basic guideline for psychological and social research in general, which could bridge the gap between qualitative and quantitative research methodologies and establish a new relationship toward the natural sciences which owe their success mainly to the development of their explorative capacities.

Sociological Explanations between Micro and Macro and the Integration of Qualitative Research and Quantitative Research Methods - Udo Kelle
Abstract: Despite the ongoing "war" between methodological camps this paper will argue for an integration of qualitative and quantitative methods in the sociological research process. For this purpose a short overview about important methodological discussions addressing basic questions of mixed (qualitative research and quantitative research method designs will be given focusing on the term "triangulation" which is seen by many authors as a central concept for method integration. The examples clearly demonstrate that each of the three understandings may have a value by showing different possibilities for relating qualitative and quantitative results in one research project to each other. However, none of these three concepts may serve as a general methodological model for the integration of qualitative research and quantitative research methods.

Combination and Integration of Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis - Philipp Mayring
Abstract: In this paper, I am going to outline ways of combining qualitative and quantitative steps of analysis on five levels. Where the data are concerned, the employment of categories (for instance by using qualitative content analysis) allows for combining qualitative and quantitative forms of data analysis. Where the logic of research is concerned, it can be shown that an extended process model which combined qualitative and quantitative research can be appropriate and thus lead to an integration of the two approaches.

Processing Raw Data both the Qualitative and Quantitative Way - Dietmar Janetzko
Abstract: Representations and changes between them play a major role in education (e.g., HEWSON, BEETH & THORLEY 1998), problem solving (e.g., BAUER & REISER 1990), cognitive development (e.g., VOSNIADOU & BREWER 1992), processing of metaphors (e.g., INDURKHYA 1992) and the history of science (e.g., KUHN 1970). Change of representations (also called conceptual change) is amenable to both qualitative and quantitative analyses: either the degree of correspondence between some activities under study (quantitative aspect) and a hypothesized representation representation per se (qualitative aspect) can be the focus of investigations.