This lecture seeks to give an overview of comparative research methods. First, the basics of comparative analysis will be discussed. It will be shown, for instance, how to select the units of ... read more
This lecture seeks to give an overview of comparative research methods. First, the basics of comparative analysis will be discussed. It will be shown, for instance, how to select the units of analysis in comparative research, or how to make causal interpretations when only a few units of analysis are available. Secondly, research designs (e.g., cross-sectional vs. longitudinal, single-level vs. multi-level of analysis) will be treated. Thirdly, methods of data collection and various data sources will be covered. Since international comparative research increasingly is research with survey data, a special focus of this lecture will be on how to collect valid survey data in cross-national and cross-cultural research and how to analyze these data. Fourthly, a wide variety of methods of data analysis for comparative research will be presented and evaluated, for large n-studies (e.g., multiple regression analysis) as well as small n-studies (e.g., Qualitative Comparative Analysis). Each topic in the lecture will be illustrated with examples from the literature.
de Vaus, David A., 2001: Research Design in Social Research. London.
Harkness, Janet A. et al. (eds.), 2003: Cross-Cultural Survey Methods. Hoboken, NJ.
King, Gary et al., 1994: Designing Social Inquiry. Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research. Princeton, NJ.
Exam: Written exam (90 minutes)