Pluralistic data analysis

Theory and practice

Authored by: Nicola J. Clarke , Nick Caddick , Nollaig Frost

Routledge Handbook of Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise

Print publication date:  September  2016
Online publication date:  September  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138792487
eBook ISBN: 9781315762012
Adobe ISBN: 9781317646914


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In his provocatively titled book The Qualitative Manifesto, Denzin (2010) proposed that in order to effectively advocate the benefits of qualitative work to practitioners, policymakers and stakeholders, social science researchers must find ways of developing meaningful dialogue between and across paradigms. Arguing for “a greater openness to and celebration of the proliferation, intermingling, and confluence of paradigms and interpretative frameworks” (p. 40), Denzin encouraged researchers to creatively embrace the tensions that arise when working with potentially disparate approaches. Methodological pluralism offers a strategy for researchers to engage in this paradigmatic dialogue, by bringing together multiple methods, data collections, theories, analyses, or disciplines within the same research project. Sport and exercise researchers may benefit from using a pluralistic approach as the phenomena we study are often dynamic, complex, and multifaceted; at once physical, personal, social, and cultural. Methodological pluralism can contribute to understanding some of this complexity, by describing and interpreting phenomena from a wide range of perspectives (Chamberlain, Cain, Sheridan & Dupuis, 2011).

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