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Dialogues: ‘QUANT’ researchers on ‘QUAL’ methods.

Pilcher, Nick; Cortazzi, Martin


Martin Cortazzi


Qualitative researchers commonly perceive that positivist hard-science researchers and policies of governments deprecate qualitative methods and approaches. Curiously though, we could not see anyone asking quantitative researchers ‘What do you think about qualitative approaches and methods?’ We did this in interviews with 17 assumed quantitative researchers in the fields of advanced materials construction, civil engineering, transport modelling, computer science, and geotechnics. Surprisingly, these researchers rarely described themselves as purely quantitative, and were rarely against the five qualitative methods discussed. Moreover, many actually used qualitative methods, often in ways we had not anticipated. Drawing on a Bakhtinian grounded framework, we present our analysis as a performed ethnographic dialogue between data extracts and research literature. We present evidence that the alleged qualitative-quantitative divide does not apply here, and suggest dialogic ways to see teach ‘qualitative’ and ‘quantitative’ and some associated terms.


Pilcher, N., & Cortazzi, M. (2016). Dialogues: ‘QUANT’ researchers on ‘QUAL’ methods. Qualitative Report, 21(3), 450-473

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 7, 2016
Publication Date 2016
Deposit Date Jan 7, 2016
Publicly Available Date Dec 31, 2016
Print ISSN 1052-0147
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 21
Issue 3
Pages 450-473
Keywords Research; qualitative methods; quantitative research; ethnographic dialogue;
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