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Living Within Blurry Boundaries: The Value of Distinguishing Between Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Morgan, David L.

Journal of mixed methods research. Volume 12:Number 3 (2018, July); pp 268-279 -- Sage Publications on behalf of Mixed Methods International Research Association

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  • Title:
    Living Within Blurry Boundaries: The Value of Distinguishing Between Qualitative and Quantitative Research
  • Author: Morgan, David L.
  • Found In: Journal of mixed methods research. Volume 12:Number 3 (2018, July); pp 268-279
  • Journal Title: Journal of mixed methods research
  • Subjects: Mixed methods research--Periodicals; Research--Evaluation--Periodicals; Social sciences--Research--Methodology--Periodicals; qualitative methods--quantitative methods--mixed methods; Dewey: 507.21
  • Rights: legaldeposit
  • Publication Details: Sage Publications on behalf of Mixed Methods International Research Association
  • Abstract:

    Recently, a debate has arisen around what can be called the "indistinguishability thesis, " that is, the claim that it is impossible to distinguish between qualitative and quantitative research. In contrast, this article argues that the inability to define simple, sharp boundaries around qualitative and quantitative research does not eliminate the value of this distinction; instead, this difference can be understood in terms of "family resemblances." Furthermore, it is important to recognize that the separation between qualitative and quantitative research underlies the different strengths of different methods, which is a central principle in mixed methods research design. Ultimately, we must learn to tolerate the blurry boundaries between qualitative and quantitative research, while appreciating the value this distinction has for mixed methods research.


  • Identifier: System Number: LDEAvdc_100072080577.0x000001; Journal ISSN: 1558-6898; 10.1177/1558689816686433
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Physical Description: Electronic
  • Shelfmark(s): ELD Digital store

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