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The analy- sis of previously collected data, like official statistics on crime, suicide, unemployment, health, and so on, can be subsumed within the tradition of quantitative research. The problem, then, is to demonstrate whether the concept actually exists and to classify people, organizations, or whatever, in relation to it.

Blalock, ; Davis,in spite of the fact that survey investigations are generally thought to be primarily geared to the establishment of simple associations and corre- lations among variables. Journals devoted to publishing articles based on qualitative research began to appear and in the Adminis- trative Science Quarterly—a bastion of quantitative research— published a special number devoted to qualitative research.

In fact, the strict doctrine of operationalism—that concepts should be viewed as synonymous with socjal measuring devices associ- ated with them—has found few adherents. In passing, departures from the textbook approach to the measurement of concepts have been mentioned.

Quantity and Quality in Social Research – Alan Bryman – Google Books

Clearly, quanrity the domain of the social sciences, in which moral or politi- cal predispositions may exert a greater influence than in the natural sciences, this aspect of positivism has special relevance. It is not difficult to see why there might be a quantiity between byman recom- mendations of textbooks and much research practice, for validity issues can easily become fairly major projects for researchers who may see such issues as excessive distractions.

When used by qualitative researchers the group discussion technique is almost always one among a number of methods of data collection. According to Blumerp. In sociology in particular, the social sur- vey is one of the main methods of data collection which embodies the features of quantitative research to be explored below.


It is even possible for the researcher to discover that a particular focus is irrelevant.

Quantity and Quality in Social Research: Alan Bryman: : Books

Philosophers of science disagree widely over what science comprises. Whereas Fig- ures 2. The data sources are fairly varied, but diaries and autobiographies are two of the most prominent bases for generating life histories. With the latter approach, the life history method becomes a highly protracted unstruc- tured interview in which the researcher induces others to reflect at length about their lives and the changes and processes which underpin their experiences.

Bell and Newby, Campbell and Fiske, Symbolic interac- tionists view social life as an unfolding process in which the individual interprets his or her environment and acts on the basis of that interpreta- tion. As indicated above, the grow- ing interest in qualitative research and the formation of a philosophi- cal rationale for it was a major impetus to this development. Meadprobably the most influential of the early symbolic inter- actionist thinkers.

Keat and Urry,their influence has been fairly marginal. But Hirschi is rarely content to leave his data analysis simply at the level of estimates of co-variation or correlation among the variables concerned.

Pleasant 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Unpleasant Rejecting 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Accepting Fiedler found that leaders who described their LPC in favourable terms e. I also examine the extent to which there is a clear connection between the practices of researchers working within each of the two traditions and underlying philosophical positions, as posited by the debate.

Fur- ther, at different times Fiedler has offered no fewer than four distinct ways of envisioning the leadership styles of leaders with different LPC scores. Get to Know Us. In order to gain the necessary vantage point from which empathy may be feasible, sustained periods of involvement are required. Questions such as this require a longitudinal approach, such as a panel design in which two or more waves of observations of the relevant variables are executed at different points in time.

At the time of writing, the concerns among quantitative researchers who use experimental designs about the question of external validity show no signs of abating. But they are open to the charge that findings may be idiosyncratic and difficult to replicate.

Researchers using an experimental design do not face this problem, since the experimental treatment is a stimulus, the response to which is deemed to be the effect. Of course, they are more than merely literary devices; but it is difficult not to be struck by the different styles of exposition that practitioners of the two traditions espouse. It is possible to see in the last of these three factors an intel- lectual current which both prompted an awareness of the deficiencies of the quantitative research orthodoxy and also provided a rationale for an emergent tradition of qualitative research.


alaan Similarly, in his participant observation study of a comprehensive school, Ball was interested in the way in which a major innova- tion—the introduction of mixed-ability groupings—was implemented.

Participant observers have been very attuned to the notion of viewing social life as involving interlocking series of events and so tend to place a much greater emphasis on the changes that the processes which provide its bedrock are responsible for inducing. Some points have been treated in a fairly cavalier manner in order to cut a swath through a very im undergrowth of debate.

First, a great deal of social research is conducted in such a way that steps in the flow pro- posed by Lazarsfeld are bypassed. Lazarsfeld reasoned that only a battery of questionnaire items would allow each dimension sociak be captured in its totality.

Quantity and Quality in Social Research

The factor analysis revealed four dimensions, that is, groups of questionnaire items which tended to cling together. This view entails a pointed rejection of the positivist position that the differences reseearch the natural and the social orders do not present any problems to the application of scientific methods to the study of society.

Diversity of perspective within these three groups may also resexrch expected. In Chapter 7, I look at the problem of building up a total picture of research findings in fields in which both research traditions are pursued in conjunction.