MQIC 2019 Keynote Address
Dr. Pat Bazeley, Director of Research Support P/L and Adjunct Professor in the Translational Research and Social Innovation Centre at Western Sydney University
Mixed methods research is commonly defined as involving a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods to research, yet the boundary between these is far from clear. They are better described as broad approaches rather than definitive methods, each of which is a way of representing the world and phenomena within it. The world is not easily divided into quantitative and qualitative elements, however; rather all phenomena within it are multidimensional, capable of being represented through a broad array of methodologies and methods, any of which is inevitably partial. By subsuming all approaches (e.g., including visual methods, historical methods) within a quantitative-qualitative framework, we lose something of the unique perspectives and methods these approaches bring to understanding other dimensionalities of phenomena (such as colour and form, age and permanence).
In this presentation I argue, therefore, for a broadened understanding of what mixing methods might mean and for the legitimacy – indeed, the necessity – of mixing methods, if we are to begin to genuinely represent the full richness and meaning of the phenomena we study. Such an understanding and approach has implications for data choices, methods employed, and software use.