A Tale of Two Cultures: Qualitative and Quantitative Research in the Social Sciences

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Princeton University Press, Sep 9, 2012 - Political Science - 238 pages

Some in the social sciences argue that the same logic applies to both qualitative and quantitative methods. In A Tale of Two Cultures, Gary Goertz and James Mahoney demonstrate that these two paradigms constitute different cultures, each internally coherent yet marked by contrasting norms, practices, and toolkits. They identify and discuss major differences between these two traditions that touch nearly every aspect of social science research, including design, goals, causal effects and models, concepts and measurement, data analysis, and case selection. Although focused on the differences between qualitative and quantitative research, Goertz and Mahoney also seek to promote toleration, exchange, and learning by enabling scholars to think beyond their own culture and see an alternative scientific worldview. This book is written in an easily accessible style and features a host of real-world examples to illustrate methodological points.

 

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User Review  - brleach - LibraryThing

This book is satisfactory at accomplishing what it sets out to do, namely, comparing the quantitative and (positivist strain of) qualitative cultures in a way that suggests that they are fundamentally ... Read full review

Contents

A Selective Introduction to Logic
16
CausesofEffects versus EffectsofCauses
41
Causal Models
51
Asymmetry
64
Humes Two Definitions of Cause
75
WithinCase versus CrossCase Causal Analysis
87
Causal Mechanisms and Process Tracing
100
Counterfactuals
115
Meaning and Measurement
139
Semantics Statistics and Data Transformations
150
Conceptual Opposites and Typologies
161
Case Selection and Hypothesis Testing
177
Generalizations
192
Scope
205
Conclusion
220
Subject Index
235

Definitions Indicators and Error
127

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About the author (2012)

Gary Goertz is professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame. His books include Social Science Concepts: A User's Guide (Princeton). James Mahoney is the Fitzgerald Professor of Economic History and professor of political science and sociology at Northwestern University. His books include Colonialism and Postcolonial Development: Spanish America in Comparative Perspective.

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