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Combining qualitative and quantitative data in the longitudinal study of household allocations

Laurie, H and Sullivan, O (1991) 'Combining qualitative and quantitative data in the longitudinal study of household allocations.' The Sociological Review, 39 (1). 113 - 130. ISSN 0038-0261

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Abstract

The paper examines some of the technical and epistemological questions raised by the debate on linking qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. For illustrative purposes, we discuss a qualitative research project on the distribution of resources within households currently being conducted by the British Household Panel Study at the University of Essex. Initially, we provide a general background to the current research, moving on to examine some of the methodological problems which emerge and the epistemological questions which they raise. These include the general issue of classification; the difficulties of defining the analytical boundaries of households; the particular problems associated with using households as longitudinal units of analysis; and the relationship between actors' accounts and the conceptual categories which we use to describe behaviour. We suggest that the tendency to see qualitative and quantitative methodologies as mutually exclusive and antagonistic paradigms is a misleading representation of the reality of social research practice, and argue for the importance of maintaining a qualitative component in the BHPS in order to understand the complex processes involved in the intra‐household distribution of resources. 1991 The Editorial Board of The Sociological Review

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Institute for Social and Economic Research
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2014 12:44
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2019 01:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/8756

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