Review Essay: The Dialectic of the General and Particular in Social Science Research and Teaching Praxis


  • Wolff-Michael Roth University of Victoria



cultural comparison, quantitative research method, research design, general/particular dialectics


Cross-Cultural Research Methods pretends to be a primer on the "how to" of conducting cross-cultural research, but focuses only on quantitative methods that use secondary data in the service of generating knowledge. The book is caught twice in the dialectic of the general and the specific, by putting all its eggs into the former basket and failing to recognize the role of the latter both in research itself and in the teaching of research methods to its readers. Because I know that the students in my graduate research methods course would fail to appreciate the book, I would neither select nor recommend it to others as a resource in teaching (quantitative) research methods or research designs courses. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs030268


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Author Biography

Wolff-Michael Roth, University of Victoria

Wolff-Michael ROTH ( is Lansdowne Professor of applied cognitive science at the University of Victoria. His interdisciplinary research agenda includes studies in science and mathematics education, general education, applied cognitive science, sociology of science, and linguistics (pragmatics). His recent publications include At the Elbows of Another: Learning to Teach by Coteaching (with K. TOBIN, Peter Lang, 2002), Science Education as/for Sociopolitical Action (ed. with J. DÉSAUTELS, Peter Lang, 2002), and Being and Becoming in the Classroom (Ablex Publishing, 2002). Wolff-Michael ROTH has published essay reviews in previous FQS issues. These include Grenzgänger Seeks Reflexive Methodology (; Auto/Biography as Method: Dialectical Sociology of Everyday Life ( and The Politics and Rhetoric of Conversation and Discourse Analysis: A reflexive, phenomenological hermeneutic analysis (




How to Cite

Roth, W.-M. (2003). Review Essay: The Dialectic of the General and Particular in Social Science Research and Teaching Praxis. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 4(2).

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