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The opinions expressed on this page are mine alone. Any similarities to the views of my employer are completely coincidental.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

QCA gets pounded...ouch!

I've not been paying too much attention to the journal literature over the Summer but I just checked out the 2014 (August) issue of Sociological Methodology. It contains a major article by Lucas and Szatrowski evaluating  Ragin's Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) methodology.  I've not had time to read it carefully enough but my preliminary impression is that they have severely disabled if not sunk a capital ship. All the QCA cronies manage in reply are a few feeble smears and some rather unseemly howling about how it is all so unfair. 

Sam's reply to the responses effectively buries the responders and dances on their graves in a way that I'm not sure I've ever seen before in an academic journal. I've long thought that QCA was a zombie technique and it will be interesting to see how it's going to survive this pounding. 

Clearly I'm going to have to read the article, responses and reply much more carefully. So might my students as they're candidates for inclusion in the revised reading  list for my Hilary Term Research Design course.

Incidentally Lucas mentions in passing that their manuscript went through five rounds of  R&R before final acceptance.  I guess that's the difference between publishing in a genuinely world class sociology journal and in the ones that the UK RAE panel pretends are world class.

1 comment:

Didier said...

I haven only read the abstract, but which QCA adherent will be convinced by simulated data? Surely their research is much more complex than this...!