Qualitative Analysis

Topics: Scientific method, Quantitative research, Sociology Pages: 4 (609 words) Published: June 24, 2013
Qualitative Methods And analysis
* . Quantitative research is used widely in social sciences such as sociology, anthropology,

and political science. Research in mathematical sciences such as physics is also 'quantitative'

by definition, though this use of the term differs in context. In the social sciences, the term

relates to empirical methods, originating in both philosophical positivism and the history of

statistics, which contrast qualitative research methods. Qualitative methods produce

information only on the particular cases studied, and any more general conclusions are only

hypotheses. Quantitative methods can be used to verify, which of such hypotheses are true.

Quantitative methods are research techniques that are used to gather quantitative data – information dealing with numbers and anything that is measurable. Statistics, tables and

graphs, are often used to present the results of these methods. They are therefore to be

distinguished from qualitative methods. In most physical and biological sciences, the use of

either quantitative or qualitative methods is uncontroversial, and each is used when

appropriate. In the social sciences, particularly in sociology, social anthropology and

psychology, the use of one or other type of method has become a matter of controversy and

even ideology, with particular schools of thought within each discipline favouring one type

of method and pouring scorn on to the other. Advocates of quantitative methods argue that

only by using such methods can the social sciences become truly scientific; advocates of

qualitative methods argue that quantitative methods tend to obscure the reality of the social

phenomena under study because they underestimate or neglect the non-measurable factors,

which may be the most important. The modern tendency (and in reality the majority

tendency throughout the history of social science) is to use eclectic...
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