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Generalization In Qualitative Research

G. Payne, Malcolm Williams
Published 2005 · Sociology

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Earlier treatments of moderatum generalization (e.g. Williams, 2000a) explicitly addressed interpretivist sociology. This article extends that earlier argument by examining some of its implications for a wider range of qualitative research methods. It first adopts an empirical approach, providing concrete illustrations from the most recent volume of Sociology of what sociologists actually do when describing the meaning of their findings. In the light of this, we reconsider the significance of moderatum generalization for research practice and the status of sociological knowledge, in particular making the case that research design should plan for anticipated generalizations, and that generalization should be more explicitly formulated within a context of supporting evidence.
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