Contextualizing Cases and Types through Qualitative Multi-Level-Analysis

Sunday, 10 July 2016: 09:00-10:30
Location: Hörsaal 18 (Juridicum)
RC33 Logic and Methodology in Sociology (host committee)
RC20 Comparative Sociology
WG02 Historical and Comparative Sociology

Language: English

“Struggles for a better world” have been analysed on all social levels: in the form of revolutions by comparative sociologists, in the form of organizational change and collective mobilization or as individual mobility and identity formation. For all of these topics multi-level analyses are desirable: Taking change in schools as an example, reforms agreed upon at state level need to be put into practice in individual school organizations, taking into account the social milieus of pupils and organizational milieus of teachers. 
In methodological terms, multi-level analyses are a complex matter. In the quantitative paradigm nested data with a high degree of colinearity and small numbers on the lowest level can be a problem. Qualitative research methods, on the other hand, rarely conceptualize analyses as multi-level. Nevertheless, extensive debates about the selection of comparative cases, the framing and contextualization of cases and the construction of a variety of types point in exactly that direction. 
The session is inviting methodological papers and empirical studies which reflect on qualitative multi-level design: 

  • How can different levels of inquiry be theoretically conceptualised and theoretically related to each other? 
  • How can cases and types be contextualized by other levels of research? 
  • What kind(s) of internal heterogeneities are aceptable? 
  • When is multi-level analysis a necessity? 
  • How to avoid methodological nationalism in sampling and analysis? 
  • Can lower-level cases be placed in more than one higher-level context? 
  • How does multi-level analysis foster validity and generalizability?
Session Organizers:
Arnd-Michael NOHL, Universität der Bundeswehr Hamburg, Germany and Anja WEISS, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
Communicative Knowledge and Multi-Level-Analysis. Ideas on the Relation Between Discourses and (Social) Milieus Based on Empirical Data.
Steffen AMLING, Universität Hamburg, Germany; Zuhal KAVACIK, Universität Hamburg, Germany; Alexander GEIMER, Universität Hamburg, Germany
How to Study Intersecting Processes of Mobilization in Different Social Spheres? a Comparison of Process Tracing and Sequences Analysis
Ana Carolina ALFINITO VIEIRA, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Germany; Sigrid QUACK, University Duisburg-Essen, Germany
Multi-Level Analysis with New Materialist Ethnographies
Cornelia SCHADLER, University of Vienna, Austria