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.This chapter is organized into four parts.In order to place the discussion incontext, a brief overview of current issues in mixed methodologies is provided.I next move on to the thorny issue of triangulation and the way it is frequentlyused by researchers.I then discuss studies in the broadly defined field of work-place discourse, paying special attention to the relationship between mixedmethodologies and applicability of research.I finally turn to the implicationsand conclusions that can be drawn.2.2 Qualitative, quantitative, mixedand multimethod designs1As Seliger and Shohamy (1989; DeVaus, 2002), among many others, suggest, theresearch methods and techniques adopted in any research project dependupon the questions and the focus of the researcher.However, this may suggesta rather  instrumental stance which does not always capture the philosophicaland conceptual underpinning as well as theoretical debates and complexities ofthe  approach researchers choose, thus reducing it to  what works (Sunderlandand Litosseliti, 2008; Tashakkori and Teddlie, 2003).Even though the uneasi-ness deriving from a  what works position is rather straightforward, the extentto which it is relevant to the mixed methods paradigm is debatable.In fact, overthe last few years an increasing volume of work has appeared (e.g.Bryman,2006; Johnson and Onwuegbuzie, 2004) which illustrates (a) the conceptualdecisions researchers make in choosing a particular design within this para-digm, and (b) the robustness of the paradigm itself.In addition, there is greatvariety in mixed methods designs; Tashakkori and Teddlie (2003) have identi-fied over 40 types of designs within their recent handbook.Hence mixedmethods  is not to be mistaken for an  anything goes disposition , (Drnyei,2007: 166) and should not be seen as an unstructured  fusion of quantitativeand qualitative research or as just the additive  sum of both paradigms. 32 Research Methods in LinguisticsAnother important issue that is often discussed in association with mixedmethod research is the compatibility and transferability of various paradigmsand methodologies, within and across different disciplinary and epistemo-logical communities.While there is a growing consensus that combiningapproaches is not only feasible but also beneficial in revealing different aspectsof  reality (Lazaraton, 2005: 219), there is an open question as to whether manymethods and types of research would comfortably sit under the same design. The question, then, is not whether the two sorts of data and associated meth-ods can be linked during study design, but whether it should be done, how itwill be done, and for what purposes (Miles and Huberman, 1994: 41).Within the linguistic field, Sunderland and Litosseliti (2008) provide clearexamples of how  affiliation to certain epistemological approaches may influ-ence the approach taken and methodologies selected.In the case of discourseanalysis, for instance, there are widely recognized approaches (includingConversation Analysis (CA), Interactional Sociolinguistics, Critical DiscourseAnalysis (CDA), Discursive Psychology, Interpretative Discourse Analysis, andPost-structuralist Discourse Analysis (PDA)), each with a recognizable associ-ated set of methodological tools.These different approaches often staysomewhat insulated within specific disciplinary boundaries, each workingwith distinctive conceptions of discourse, as well as distinctive tools and proc-esses (e.g.regarding the operationalization of the context of interactions forthe interpretation of discourse data).A discussion of how approaches (andresearchers taking a certain stance) do not always sit comfortably underone design can be found in Harrington et al.(2008); also many a reader willbe familiar with the debate that was published in Discourse & Society (e.g.Schegloff, 1997) around the different theoretical assumptions made by CA andCDA researchers.It is beyond the scope of this chapter to consider potentialbarriers in reconciling different theoretical assumptions, however, the ques-tion on the extent to which quantitative and qualitative methodologies arecompatible is relevant.A growing number of researchershave consistently argued for, and indeed, adopted approaches which attempt tointegrate [emphasis mine] quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis, usingthe patterns identified by the quantitative analysis as essential background toassist in the detailed qualitative interpretation of the discourse.(Holmes and Meyerhoff, 2003: 15)In the editorial of the Journal of Mixed Methods Research, Tashakkori andCreswell (2007) provide a useful overview of the conceptual and epistemological Combining Methods in Linguistic Research 33challenges in  bridging quantitative and qualitative research designs.Whilerecently the mixed methods paradigm was defined as  the class of researchwhere the researcher mixes or combines (Johnson and Onwuegbuzie, 2004: 17)quantitative and qualitative elements, according to Bryman (2007) the keyissue to be considered is the amount of  integration of the two paradigms;for instance, Geluykens (2008) suggests that most studies in his subfield ofcross-cultural pragmatics combine rather than integrate research methods.A growing number of works distinguish between combination/integration.I follow here Tashakkori and Creswell s (2007) approach and the studies I dis-cuss later combine or integrate the qualitative/quantitative element in one ofthe following ways: two types of research questions (with qualitative and quantitative approaches) the manner in which the research questions are developed (participatory vs.preplanned) two types of sampling procedures (e.g., probability and purposive) two types of data collection procedures (e.g., focus groups and surveys) two types of data (e.g., numerical and textual) two types of data analysis (statistical and thematic), and two types of conclusions (emic and etic2 representations,  objective and  subjec-tive , etc.).(Tashakkori and Creswell, 2007: 4)Typically the discussion on integration refers to the sequence and impor-tance (or dominance) of the qualitative/quantitative component.Brannen(2005) usefully provides exemplar studies showing how the second (eitherqualitative or quantitative) component can be introduced at (a) the design,(b) the fieldwork and/or (c) the interpretation and contextualization phase ofany research project.3Whether combining or integrating quantitative/qualitative elements, mixedmethods designs arguably contribute to a better understanding of the variousphenomena under investigation; while quantitative research is useful towardsgeneralizing research findings (see Chapter 3), qualitative approaches are par-ticularly valuable in providing in-depth, rich data.However, mixed methodsresearch designs do not indicate  necessarily better research (Brannen, 2005:183) nor should they be seen as deus ex machina.The data (as in all para-digms) need to be analysed and interpreted systematically and following rigor-ous theoretical grounding [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]