An introduction to comparing comparative methodologies: A framework for understanding pitfalls and operationalizing promises

Alexander W. Wiseman, Nikolay Popov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Systematic, consistent, and holistic reflection on comparative methodologies across different disciplines and fields is rare. This chapter, however, develops a framework for both understanding and operationalizing comparative research. First, the basic characteristics of comparison and how it is used in social science research is described. Then, the benefits of comparing for identifying similarities versus differences and the contexts that determine the appropriateness of comparison are discussed. Next, several questions are posed that serve as guides in the operationalization of both the promises and the pitfalls of comparison. Finally, these questions are used to frame both conceptual and practical approaches to inter- as well as intra-disciplinary comparative research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Perspectives on Education and Society
Volume26
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Comparative methods
  • Comparative reflection
  • Comparative research
  • Comparative science
  • Methodological nationalism

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