English title: Combining methods: a key to understanding complexity in European societies?

Author(s): Linda Hantrais -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2005

Abstract

Large-scale European research programmes have provided an impetus for social science researchers to co-operate more closely not only across national and cultural boundaries but also across disciplines and research paradigms. Attempts to make sense of diversity have led to a blurring of the traditional methodological divide between quantitative and qualitative paradigms, opening up new perspectives and creating opportunities for synergy and complementarity. The paper draws on examples of the methods used in a cluster of European projects and networks in the field of family and welfare to illustrate the epistemological and practical problems raised when applying multi-methods approaches to research into European societies. It argues that, once these problems have been overcome, by combining methods within and across projects, researchers can expect to gain a deeper understanding of social phenomena in different national settings and develop new insights into complex issues.

Volume: 7

Issue: 3

From page no: 399

To page no: 421

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1080/14616690500194035

Journal: European Societies

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