Six strategies for mixing methods and linking data in social science research

Mason, Jennifer (2006) Six strategies for mixing methods and linking data in social science research. NCRM Working Paper. ESRC National Centre for Research Methods. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This paper is written as a practical and accessible guide to some key issues in mixed methods research. It explores six broad strategies that can underpin the mixing of methods and linking of different forms of data, be they qualitative, quantitative, or spanning this divide. It does this in a context where mixing methods has come to be seen as a good thing, and where research funders are increasingly thought to look favourably upon research proposals involving more than one method for generating and analysing data. Yet mixing methods for no good reason other than the sake of it can produce disjointed and unfocussed research, and can severely test the capabilities of researchers. Researchers engaging in mixed methods research need to have a clear sense of the logic and purpose of their approach and of what they are trying to achieve, because this ultimately must underpin their practical strategy not only for choosing and deploying a particular mix of methods, but crucially also for linking their data analytically. The paper outlines challenges and opportunities that each of the six strategies brings for mixed methods practice and analysis, giving each a verdict.

Item Type:Working Paper (NCRM Working Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords:NCRM Publications
Subjects:6. Mixed Methods Data Handling and Data Analysis > 6.2 Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches
6. Mixed Methods Data Handling and Data Analysis > 6.3 Mixed Methods Approaches (other)
ID Code:482
Deposited By: NCRM users
Deposited On:05 Dec 2008 18:25
Last Modified:12 Oct 2010 17:40

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