Integration of Qualitative and Quantitative Methods: Building and Interpreting Clusters from Grounded Theory and Discourse Analysis

Aldo Merlino, Alejandra Martínez


Qualitative methods present a wide spectrum of application possibilities as well as opportunities for combining qualitative and quantitative methods. In the social sciences fruitful theoretical discussions and a great deal of empirical research have taken place. This article introduces an empirical investigation which demonstrates the logic of combining methodologies as well as the collection and interpretation, both sequential as simultaneous, of qualitative and quantitative data. Specifically, the investigation process will be described, beginning with a grounded theory methodology and its combination with the techniques of structural semiotics discourse analysis to generate—in a first phase—an instrument for quantitative measuring and to understand—in a second phase—clusters obtained by quantitative analysis. This work illustrates how qualitative methods allow for the comprehension of the discursive and behavioral elements under study, and how they function as support making sense of and giving meaning to quantitative data.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0701219


method integration; grounded theory; cluster analysis; methodological triangulation


Copyright (c) 2007 Aldo Merlino, Alejandra Martínez

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