The Re-Figuration of Spaces and Comparative Sociology: Potential New Directions for Quantitative Research
In this article I deal with current re-figurations of spaces and the corresponding challenges for quantitative research. Potential new directions for quantitative research are central, firstly in the search for adequate units of analysis with reference to the macro level—where supranational dynamics are gaining importance in the course of globalization—, secondly with regard to relational spatial concepts—which take into account the importance of translocal living realities—, and thirdly concerning the micro level—where technological advances make it possible to incorporate fine-tuned spatial characteristics to develop a spatially integrated methodology. I analyze the potentials and limits of quantitative (survey) research by means of illustrative examples from the sociology of European integration, transnational migration research, and urban studies. Witnessing booming approaches in comparative sociology (from multilevel analysis and social network analyses to geo-referenced survey research), critical aspects in data interpretation should not be neglected. To grasp the dynamics of current re-figurations of spaces, there is always a need for theory-guided research. Due to the complexity of the re-figuration of spaces, openness to quantitative and qualitative research approaches is imperative in order to further develop spatially oriented research.
Copyright (c) 2021 Wolfgang Aschauer
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