The Utility of Mixed Methods in the Study of Violence
Working Paper Number:
The study of violence has expanded in recent decades, concurrent with a rise in the use of mixed quantitative and qualitative methods in research throughout the social and health sciences. Methodologists have also begun to engage in a thorough theorization of both the epistemological foundations and empirical practice of mixed methods research. Mixed methods enable us to tie the broader patterns revealed by quantitative analysis to underlying processes and causal mechanisms that qualitative research is better able to illuminate, examining and explicating the interactions of structure and agency. This paper examines how qualitative and quantitative research methods may best be integrated in the study of violence, providing and critiquing examples from previous work on different forms of violence. Through the use of mixed methods, we can both improve the accordance of theories and empirical studies with social reality and gain a more nuanced understanding of the causes and consequences of violence.