The essay focuses on the opportunities and strengths of a multi-method approach, widely called methodological triangulation, in which different investigative methods are applied to one research object. In practice, this can be realized with the coupling of quantitative structural data concerning the life course and the interpretation and evaluation of life course data collected with qualitative methods. This approach is examined in order to shed light on the problem that research findings often show different phenomena and not the different aspects of one phenomenon. The discussion of the relationships of the findings to one another (congruent, complementary or divergent) shows that in this context a multi-method approach can nevertheless be used to increase validity and to test hypotheses. Further, its particular strengths are the empirically induced modification of existing models and theories, as well as the development of new explanations.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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