Methodological pluralism as a vehicle of qualitative generalization

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This article proposes an innovative framework for making analytical generalizations in qualitative research. In order to achieve this purpose it contends that the multimethodological strategy, now readily accepted in many qualitative quarters, of mixing qualitative and quantitative methods by applying them one after the other in a sequential manner can be supplemented by a multimethod strategy which combines qualitative and quantitative in an integrative manner which synthesizes the two approaches into one empirical design. The article argues that by combining qualitative and quantitative analysis and interpretation of the same data material using the Q-methodological approach it is possible to overcome interpretive opacity – always the Achilles’ heel of an exclusively qualitative procedure of generalization. The proposal is substantiated empirically by applying the integrative approach to a study of how citizen-consumers navigating in the cross-media news landscape can be represented in a typology of seven news media repertoires. The last part of the article discusses two different epistemological lenses for methodological pluralism termed the ‘different knowledges’ perspective and the ‘common knowledge’ perspective; it is the latter of these, inspired by critical realism, which makes it possible to build a sound epistemological foundation for the multi-method endeavor.
TidsskriftParticipations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)798-825
Antal sider27
StatusUdgivet - nov. 2012

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