A Cartography of Qualitative Research in Switzerland


  • Thomas S. Eberle Universität St. Gallen
  • Florian Elliker University of St. Gallen




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


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


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Author Biographies

Thomas S. Eberle, Universität St. Gallen

Thomas Samuel EBERLE (http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs/beirat/eberle-e.htm), current position: Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Institute of Sociology, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. Currently President of the Swiss Sociological Association and Member of the Social Science Policy Council of the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences. Chair of the Research Network "Qualitative Methods" of the European Sociological Association (ESA) 2001-2003. Major research areas: phenomenological sociology; sociology of knowledge; methodology; sociology of culture, communication and organizations.

Florian Elliker, University of St. Gallen

Florian ELLIKER, current position: Ph.D. student and junior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of St.Gallen, Switzerland. Secretary of the Swiss Sociological Association (2002-2004). Major research areas: sociology of management and culture.




How to Cite

Eberle, T. S., & Elliker, F. (2005). A Cartography of Qualitative Research in Switzerland. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 6(3). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-6.3.13



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