A
C
R
O
S
S
             
 
Investigating educational issues across Europe (ACROSS Base)
Methods
The presentation is related to the project indicated in the heading (see index of projects). 
 
Home

Introduction

Access by 
> theme
> approach
> method

Index of
> projects
> experts
> references

Search
 

Method Comparison: Comparative research strategy (CATEWE)
Description Contrasting strategies of comparative research are described by Raffe (2001). "At root they reflect the different possible purposes of comparison: do we compare countries in order to identify universal laws or patterns, or in order to elucidate national uniqueness? A universalistic approach aims to replace countries by variables, and to identify a set of laws which not only transcend national differences but also explain them... By contrast, particularistic research aims to discover the unique logic which governs social processes within each country... Many researchers have adopted an intermediate position... which may have both universalistic and particularistic purposes. 

...The universalistic strategy typically involves an extensive approach to comparison, which uses large samples of countries in order to distinguish empirically among alternative country-level explanatory variables. The particularistic strategy typically uses a small sample of countries, often just two or three, to make interpretative comparisons, whose main aim is to highlight qualitative differences in concepts and institutions... [The characteristic research approach of the intermediate strategy] is the use of intensive comparisons, which test a range of predicted contrasts or similarities across a small number of theoretically sampled countries." (Smyth et al., 2001, pp. 28-30)

Discussion  
Top of the page
© WIFO