Qualitative researchers commonly perceive that positivist hard-science researchers and policies of governments deprecate qualitative methods and approaches. Curiously though, we could not see anyone asking quantitative researchers ‘What do you think about qualitative approaches and methods?’ We did this in interviews with 17 assumed quantitative researchers in the fields of advanced materials construction, civil engineering, transport modelling, computer science, and geotechnics. Surprisingly, these researchers rarely described themselves as purely quantitative, and were rarely against the five qualitative methods discussed. Moreover, many actually used qualitative methods, often in ways we had not anticipated. Drawing on a Bakhtinian grounded framework, we present our analysis as a performed ethnographic dialogue between data extracts and research literature. We present evidence that the alleged qualitative-quantitative divide does not apply here, and suggest dialogic ways to see teach "qualitative" and "quantitative" and some associated terms.


Quantitative Researchers, Qualitative Methods

Author Bio(s)

Nick Pilcher is a lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University (UK). He programme leads the MSc in Intercultural Business Communication (with TESOL) and does writing workshops. His research interests centre around language, qualitative research methods, and education. He has published and contributed to work published in journals such as Qualitative Research, Psychology of Music, Teaching in Higher Education, the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, and books such as Researching Chinese Learners and Researching Intercultural Learning (both edited by Lixian Jin and Martin Cortazzi). Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: Nick Pilcher at N.Pilcher@napier.ac.uk.

Martin Cortazzi is Visiting Professor at the Centre for Applied Linguistics, University of Warwick, UK, where he has been developing qualitative methods in educational linguistics research (together with Lixian Jin) in the analysis of metaphor, narrative and discourse. He is also Visiting Professor at a number of key universities in China. Martin Cortazzi and Lixian Jin are writers for recent teacher development books for New Standard College English, published in China, and joint editors of the book, Researching Chinese Learners. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: Martin Cortazzi at, M.Cortazzi@warwick.ac.uk.

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