A Quantitative Analysis Method for Feminist Researchers: A Gentle Introduction
Year Published: 2004
Authors: Allison J. Tracy, Ph.D., Lynn Sorsoli, Ed.D.
Historically, quantitative and qualitative approaches to research have represented two sides of a philosophical divide among social scientists. Feminist researchers have traditionally invoked qualitative methods, embracing the ways they emphasize the reflexive, subjective nature of human experience. And yet, many recognize that what makes a feminist method 'feminist' is not in the method itself, but in the way it is applied (Cook & Fonow, 1990). This paper provides a conceptual overview of a newly available modeling approach called latent variable mixture modeling (LVMM: Muthen, 2001), which we recommend for quantitative feminist research. The strength of this approach is that it preserves essential qualitative differences in experience while utilizing the breadth and statistical power of large sample data analysis, thereby combining strengths of both the qualitative and quantitative analytic paradigms.