Qualitative methods in Political Science

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Abstract

Qualitative methods focus on understanding the meaning underlying an intention, action, object or phenomenon. In other words, researchers adopting qualitative methods aim to develop an understanding, an interpretation, of the way in which those they study understand their actions and the context in which they act. In political science research, qualitative methods are usually contrasted with quantitative methods, which typically deal with large amounts of data, using surveys and statistical methods, with the aim of establishing causal relationships between social phenomena.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research Methods and Applications in Political Science
EditorsHans Keman, Jaap J Woldendorp
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Pages309-322
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781784710811
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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