Comparative research is a research methodology in the social sciences that aims to make comparisons across different countries or cultures. A major problem in comparative research is that the data sets in different countries may not use the same categories, or define categories differently for example by using different definitions of poverty. As Moutsios argues, cross-cultural and comparative research should be seen as part of the scientific spirit that arose in Greece in the 6th century and the overall appreciation of knowledge and learning that was characteristic of the 5th century.
In other words, it is part of the emergence of episteme and philo-sophia , as a love for knowledge that is independent from material benefits. Episteme , as a form and activity in the field of logos , marked the break of cognitive closure and advanced empirical inquiry, logical argumentation and the search for truth. And the high esteem for intellectual activity gave rise to a genuine curiosity about other cultures — which has lain thereafter at the heart of comparative inquiry.
Moreover, behind the Greek comparative gaze also was the philosophical and political questioning which characterised the life of the democratic polis. Similarly, questioning of the Greek laws and institutions and its related values and practices e. According also to Karl Deutsch , we have been using this form of investigation for over 2, years. Comparing things is essential to basic scientific and philosophic inquiry, which has been done for a long time.
It is largely an empty debate over the definition of the tradition with those questioning whether comparing things counts as comparative research. Textbooks on this form of study were beginning to appear by the s, but its rise to extreme popularity began after World War II.
Globalization has been a major factor, increasing the desire and possibility for educational exchanges and intellectual curiosity about other cultures. Information technology has enabled greater production of quantitative data for comparison, and international communications technology has facilitated this information to be easily spread. Comparative research, simply put, is the act of comparing two or more things with a view to discovering something about one or all of the things being compared.
This technique often utilizes multiple disciplines in one study. When it comes to method, the majority agreement is that there is no methodology peculiar to comparative research. There are certainly methods that are far more common than others in comparative studies, however. Quantitative analysis is much more frequently pursued than qualitative, and this is seen by the majority of comparative studies which use quantitative data.
Like cases are treated alike, and different cases are treated differently; the extent of difference determines how differently cases are to be treated. If one is able to sufficiently distinguish two carry the research conclusions will not be very helpful.
Secondary analysis of quantitative data is relatively widespread in comparative research, undoubtedly in part because of the cost of obtaining primary data for such large things as a country's policy environment. Cross-national surveys should pay as much attention to the choice and compilation of aggregate-level contextual variables, as they do to individual-level dependent and independent variables relevant level-2 variables.
Social scientists contemplating or engaged in cross-national studies should be as open about their limitations as they are enthusiastic about their explanatory powers. The fact is that only certain subjects, and only certain aspects of those subjects, can successfully be measured cross-nationally. Stringent and well-policed ground rules for comparable survey methods should become much more common in comparative studies than they are now.
To avoid infringing well-established cultural norms in one country or another, substantial national variations in methods are sometimes tolerated that should render comparisons invalid. To transform cross-national surveys from parallel exercises into joint ones, collective development work, experimentation, scale construction, and piloting should be undertaken in all participating nations. One should routinely include methodological experiments in cross-national research.
Analysts of cross-national data should try to suspend initial belief in any major inter-country differences they discover. All too often, such unexpected differences turn out to be impostors — the result of a poor translation, a subtly different show card, a variation in sampling coverage, or a particular cultural cue that subtly alters the meaning of the variable in that country. If these rules were even roughly adhered to, the situation would improve considerably.
Indeed, any comparative data set that complied with these rules would immediately transform itself from being deeply suspect to just plainly problematical. Your email address will not be published.
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Comparative research defined. Comparative research, simply put, is the act of comparing two or more things with a view to discovering something about one or all of the things being compared. This technique often utilizes multiple disciplines in one study.
The major aim of comparative research is to identify similarities and differences between social entities. Comparative research seeks to compare and contrast nations, cultures, societies, and institutions.
The comparative method is often used in the early stages of the development of a branch of science. It can help the researcher to ascend from the initial level of exploratory case studies to a more advanced level of general theoretical models, invariances, such as causality or evolution. The design of comparative research is simple. Qualitative research and comparative methods Kristi Winters Conditions of use This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs Unported License.
Comparative Research Designs and Comparative Methods Prof. Dr. Dirk Berg-Schlosser Emile Durkheim, one of the founders of modern empirical social science, once stated that the comparative method is the only one that suits the social sciences. Comparative research is a research methodology in the social sciences that aims to make comparisons across different countries or cultures. The term comparative method refers to a specific kind of comparison – the comparison of large macro-social units.