Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Social Sciences: A Theoretical Review of Possibilities and Challenges

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Questions concerning the nature of reality (ontology), how reality should be researched (methodology), and what constitutes meaningful knowledge (epistemology) not merely invite philosophical deliberations, but also have practical implications. The paper argues that ontological and epistemological positions often inform methodological choices. Certain methodological selections are reinforced by certain perspectives on philosophical questions as to what constitutes science and what qualifies as a scientific research. From a critical-realist perspective, this paper reflects on ontological and epistemological implications of qualitative-quantitative divide and presents the arguments for and against combining qualitative and quantitative methods. While arguing for mainstreaming mixed-methods approach as a viable alternative in social sciences, the paper also discusses possible challenges of the approach.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)131-141
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 5203 Global Development Studies

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