The Quantitative/Qualitative Distinction: Blessed Are The Impure

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Qualitative Psychology


There is much to admire about these timely contributions by Jackson and Lundrum and Garza. Both are appreciative of the recent flourishing of qualitative inquiry in contemporary social science, along with the longstanding animus to such inquiry within traditional circles. Both are acutely sensitive to the newly emerging potentials of the qualitative movement, and to the complex array of conceptual, valuational, and pragmatic ambiguities that now pervade not only psychology, but neighboring social sciences. Both attempt to bring clarity of understanding to the current dialogues. They sense the need for direction and a coherent framework from which both policy and practice may confidently and progressively proceed. I applaud these efforts, even as I find myself bracing against the directions that they invite. Gergen goes on to contrast the accounts of Jackson (2015) and Lundrum and Garza (2015) on the nature of qualitative inquiry.

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