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Qualitative Methods

  • By: Lars Meier
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Qualitative methods can be characterized by their concentration on subjective experiences and the subjective dimensions of the social. These methods are labeled as qualitative because their aim is to investigate deeply into each single case rather than produce a more abstract and concentrated set of quantitative data. Even if the results gained with the help of qualitative methods are not, in general, statistically representative, their outcomes and interpretations are somewhat more than the descriptions of individual cases. Because each single case is considered as being a part of society, reflecting wider processes, qualitative research produces results that can be generalized. Today, qualitative methods are in common use in the social sciences, including human geography. Qualitative methods are used sometimes in combination with quantitative methods. After ...

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