A Cartography of Qualitative Research in Switzerland

Thomas S. Eberle, Florian Elliker


Our attempt to describe the state of qual­itative research in Switzerland starts out with an impressionist sketch which inevitably is selective, subjective and culturally biased. In order to reach a more objective stance, we gather some facts and figures and present them by means of de­scriptive statistics. Based on the database of the Swiss Information and Data Archive Service for the Social Sciences (SIDOS), we analyze a sample of qualitative, sociological research projects funded by national science foundations (Swiss, German and French) between 1995-2004. We compare qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods pro­jects and try to find similarities, differences and trends: Has the ratio of qualitative research pro­jects in­creased over the last ten years? Can we find cul­tural differences, e.g. a preference of Ger­man or French Swiss researchers for either qualit­ative or quantitative or mixed methods designs? Do dif­ferent types of institutions, or do men and women have such different preferences? Which methods are prevailing in Swiss qualitative re­search? In a second data set collected by a survey of our own, we broaden the perspective to other disciplines and try to identify the most commonly used methods and theoretical approaches. But we have also obtained individual portraits of the qual­it­ative researchers in Switzerland with their prefer­ences of theoretical approaches and methods, their ex­pertise, their research and their teaching courses. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0503244


Switzerland; qualitative research; methods; theoretical approaches; qualitative and quantitative methods; mixed methods designs; gender

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17169/fqs-6.3.13

Copyright (c) 2005 Thomas S. Eberle, Florian Elliker

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