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Making the case for qualitative comparative analysis in geographical research : a case study of health resilience.

Cairns, J. and Wistow, J. and Bambra, C. (2017) 'Making the case for qualitative comparative analysis in geographical research : a case study of health resilience.', Area., 49 (3). pp. 369-376.

Abstract

This paper critically discusses the utility of using qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) in geographical research following the ‘complexity turn’. Although QCA methodology has increasingly been applied in other social science disciplines, it is not widely used by geographers. The major benefit of QCA is that it can handle complexity by exploring different pathways that generate the same outcome, which applies to much spatial research. Significantly, QCA is case – rather than variable – oriented, which is hugely important when considering the significance of context. In this paper we illustrate how QCA can be applied in the discipline of geography through a case study of area-level health resilience. We argue that QCA can be usefully applied to such geographical questions as it aids our understanding of the complex processes that lead to spatial variations in health. Moreover, QCA enables geographical research to bridge the quantitative–qualitative divide. We conclude that QCA has great potential for exploring the complex, spatial factors that influence area-level health resilience by being context-sensitive and case-oriented. We make the case for applying this methodology in future geographical research.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1111/area.12327
Publisher statement:This is the accepted version of the following article: Cairns, J. M., Wistow, J. and Bambra, C. (2017), Making the case for qualitative comparative analysis in geographical research: a case study of health resilience. Area, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/area.12327. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Date accepted:01 March 2017
Date deposited:14 March 2017
Date of first online publication:02 March 2017
Date first made open access:02 March 2019

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