SAGE Journal Articles

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Alise, M. A., & Teddlie, C. (2010). A continuation of the paradigm wars? Prevalence rates of methodological approaches across the social/behavioral sciences. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 4 (2), 103–126. DOI:10.1177/1558689809360805.

Abstract: A new line of research has emerged that examines the prevalence rates of mixed methods within disciplines in the social/behavioral sciences. Research presented in this article is unique in that it examines prevalence rates across multiple disciplines using an established cross-disciplinary classification scheme. Results indicate that there are significant differences in the methods employed (quantitative, mixed, qualitative) in pure (psychology, sociology) as opposed to applied (education, nursing) disciplines. The prevalence rate for mixed methods research is higher in applied (16%) compared with pure disciplines (6%). Quantitative methods and the underlying postpositivistic paradigm are prevalent in articles from ‘‘elite’’ journals from pure disciplines, especially psychology. Methodological issues are discussed, including the importance of the sampling procedures employed in prevalence rates studies.

Feilzer, M. Y. (2010). Doing mixed methods research pragmatically: Implications for the rediscovery of pragmatism as a research paradigm. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 4(1), 6–16. DOI: 10.1177/1558689809349691

Abstract: This article explores the practical relevance of pragmatism as a research paradigm through the example of a piece of pragmatic research that not only used both quantitative and qualitative research methods but also exploited the inherent duality of the data analyzed. Thus, the article aims to make the case that pragmatism as a research paradigm supports the use of a mix of different research methods as well as modes of analysis and a continuous cycle of abductive reasoning while being guided primarily by the researcher’s desire to produce socially useful knowledge. It will be argued that pragmatism can serve as a rationale for formal research design as well as a more grounded approach to research.

Howe, K. R. (November, 1988). Against the quantitative-qualitative incompatibility thesis or dogmas die hard. Educational Researcher, 10–16.

Abstract: Over approximately the last 20 years, the use of qualitative methods in educational research has evolved from being scoffed at to being viewed as useful for provisional exploration, to being accepted as a valuable alternative approach in its own right, to being embraced as capable of thoroughgoing integration with quantitative methods. Progress has been halting, and it is not surprising that certain thinkers are now balking at the latest stage of development. The chief worry is that the capitulation to "what works" ignores the incompatibility of the competing positivistic and interpretivist epistemological paradigms that purportedly undergird quantitative and qualitative methods, respectively. Appealing to a pragmatic philosophical perspective, this paper argues that no incompatibility between quantitative and qualitative methods exists at either the level of practice or that of epistemology and that there are thus no good reasons for educational researchers to fear forging ahead with "what works."

Johnson, R. B. (2012). Guest editor's editorial: Dialectical pluralism: A metaparadigm whose time has come. American Behavioral Scientist, 56, 751–754.

Abstract: There has been much debate about the role of paradigms in mixed methods research. In the face of past calls for each researcher to operate within a single paradigm, it turns out that some researchers/practitioners find many positive features in more than one paradigm. This “multiparadigmatic perspective” used in mixed methods research needs a systematic framework for the practice of engaging in difference. Also, individuals committed to a single paradigm need a philosophical/theoretical framework for working in multiparadigmatic teams. This article provides such a framework. It is a metaparadigm, and it is labeled dialectical pluralism 2.0 or more simply dialectical pluralism. The word “pluralism” refers to the acceptance and expectancy of difference in virtually every realm of inquiry, including reality, and the age-old word “dialectical” refers to the operative process which is both dialectical and dialogical. Dialectical pluralism provides a way for researchers, practitioners, clients, policy makers, and other stakeholders to work together and produce new workable “wholes” while, concurrently, thriving on differences and intellectual tensions.

Johnson, R. B., & Onwuegbuzie, A. J. (2004). Mixed methods research: A research paradigm whose time has come. Educational Researcher, 33 (7), 14–26.

Abstract: The purposes of this article are to position mixed methods research (mixed research is a synonym) as the natural complement to traditional qualitative and quantitative research, to present pragmatism as offering an attractive philosophical partner for mixed methods research, and to provide a framework for designing and conducting mixed methods research. In doing this, we briefly review the paradigm “wars” and incompatibility thesis, we show some commonalities between quantitative and qualitative research, we explain the tenets of pragmatism, we explain the fundamental principle of mixed research and how to apply it, we provide specific sets of designs for the two major types of mixed methods research (mixed-model designs and mixed-method designs), and, finally, we explain mixed methods research as following (recursively) an eight-step process. A key feature of mixed methods research is its methodological pluralism or eclecticism, which frequently results in superior research (compared to monomethod research). Mixed methods research will be successful as more investigators study and help advance its concepts and as they regularly practice it.

Mertens, D. M. (2007). Transformative paradigm: Mixed methods and social justice. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 1(3), 212–225.

Abstract: The intersection of mixed methods and social justice has implications for the role of the researcher and choices of specific paradigmatic perspectives. The transformative paradigm with its associated philosophical assumptions provides a framework for addressing inequality and injustice in society using culturally competent, mixed methods strategies. The recognition that realities are constructed and shaped by social, political, cultural, economic, and racial/ethnic values indicates that power and privilege are important determinants of which reality will be privileged in a research context. Methodological inferences based on the underlying assumptions of the transformative paradigm reveal the potential strength of combining qualitative and quantitative methods. A qualitative dimension is needed to gather community perspectives at each stage of the research process, while a quantitative dimension provides the opportunity to demonstrate outcomes that have credibility for community members and scholars. Transformative mixed methodologies provide a mechanism for addressing the complexities of research in culturally complex settings that can provide a basis for social change.