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Probes, surveys, and the ontology of the social

Collins, Harry and Evans, Robert 2017. Probes, surveys, and the ontology of the social. Journal of Mixed Methods Research 11 (3) , pp. 328-341. 10.1177/1558689815619825

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Abstract

By distinguishing between a survey and—a newly introduced term—a “probe,” we recast the relationship between qualitative and quantitative approaches to social science. The difference turns on the uniformity of the phenomenon being examined. Uniformity is a fundamental idea underlying all scientific research but is rarely spoken about. The idea explains the different approaches to social science and has implications for monomethod and mixed method research designs. At the broadest level, it clarifies the different logics of quantitative and qualitative research and how they combine. For individual researcher, it provides a new rationale for mixing small and large samples in the same research project and, in the right circumstances, justifies efficient research designs based on small samples.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 1558-6898
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2020 11:30
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/104053

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