Using mixed methods for the analysis of individuals: a review of necessary and sufficient conditions and an application to welfare state attitudes

Using mixed methods for the analysis of individuals: a review of necessary and sufficient... When studying individuals, when is the combination of qualitative and quantitative methods better than just one method alone? Whereas the debate in macro-level research, such as in political science about comparing nations, has made progress in identifying meaningful logics for a combination of methods, it is yet unclear how these logics can be applied to the study of individuals. Individual-level dynamics are in tendency less inert than those of nations or organisations. Therefore, a combination of methods is more difficult to justify in individual-level analysis since differences in measurement results could be due to changes in the dynamics rather than due to the application of different techniques. In contrast, the assumption of unit homogeneity seems to be more easily met for individuals than for countries or other higher-level aggregates, facilitating a comparison of like and like. First, this article presents a compilation of conditions scattered across the literature for the analysis of individuals, according to which a mixed-method is preferable to a single-method approach. Second, the application of these conditions is illustrated with an analysis of the impact of intergenerational relationships on welfare state attitudes in Germany on the basis of survey and focus group data. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Quality & Quantity Springer Journals

Using mixed methods for the analysis of individuals: a review of necessary and sufficient conditions and an application to welfare state attitudes

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Subject
Social Sciences; Methodology of the Social Sciences; Social Sciences, general
ISSN
0033-5177
eISSN
1573-7845
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11135-010-9379-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

When studying individuals, when is the combination of qualitative and quantitative methods better than just one method alone? Whereas the debate in macro-level research, such as in political science about comparing nations, has made progress in identifying meaningful logics for a combination of methods, it is yet unclear how these logics can be applied to the study of individuals. Individual-level dynamics are in tendency less inert than those of nations or organisations. Therefore, a combination of methods is more difficult to justify in individual-level analysis since differences in measurement results could be due to changes in the dynamics rather than due to the application of different techniques. In contrast, the assumption of unit homogeneity seems to be more easily met for individuals than for countries or other higher-level aggregates, facilitating a comparison of like and like. First, this article presents a compilation of conditions scattered across the literature for the analysis of individuals, according to which a mixed-method is preferable to a single-method approach. Second, the application of these conditions is illustrated with an analysis of the impact of intergenerational relationships on welfare state attitudes in Germany on the basis of survey and focus group data.

Journal

Quality & QuantitySpringer Journals

Published: Nov 26, 2010

References

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