[Air-l] Re: qual and quant (fwd)

Irene Berkowitz Berkowitz at mail.temple.edu
Mon Jan 26 08:38:16 PST 2004


Could you have him either send the papers or the URL's?  thanks, IB

Irene Berkowitz
Director Curricular Publications 
Office of the Vice Provost
Temple University
tel. 215-204-7596  fax. 215-204 3175
berkowitz at mail.temple.edu

>>> wellman at chass.utoronto.ca 01/25/2004 5:01:24 PM >>>
As Charles Tilly didn't have access to the list, he asked me to
for him. My pleasure.
FWIW, I think his point complements mine, rather than replacing it.
 Barry Wellman

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 25 Jan 2004 16:39:07 -0500
From: Charles Tilly <ct135 at columbia.edu>
To: Barry Wellman <wellman at chass.utoronto.ca>
Cc: aoir list <air-l at aoir.org>,
     communication and information technology section asa
<citasa at mit.edu>
Subject: Re: qual and quant

You're opening up a question of broad significance, but quantitative
qualitative understates the problem. People at the leading edge of a
technology and/or at the center of a communications network have
experiences and form different impressions from those located
elsewhere. In
the study of transnational social movement organizing by such experts
as Lance
Bennett, for example, new developments in electronic coordination
great attention. But we have reason to believe that a) unmediated
person to
person connections still play crucial parts in the bulk of
social movement organizing and b) if those connections do shrivel,
movements will lose some of their longer-term impact on local,
regional, and
national politics in favor of wavelike short-term mobilizations.

I have in circulation papers on the two subjects -- quantitative vs.
qualitative and 21st century social movements that I'll be glad to


Charles Tilly
Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science, Columbia
Office 514 Fayerweather Hall, letters and packages 413 Fayerweather
Mail Code 2552, Columbia University, New York 10027-7001, USA
telephone 212 854 2345, fax 212 854 2963, electronic ct135 at columbia.edu

Barry Wellman wrote:

> Dear Friends and Colleagues,
> I think the reason that immersive virtual communities have been so
> prominent in the media and in analysts' eyes is that they are so
> and so amenable to study by qualitative means. I am thinking here of
> really fine stuff such as Nancy Baym's soap opera study and Lori
> Hanging Out in the Virtual Pub. OTOH, quant. survey stuff is better
> placing prevalence in perspective, even though it is much harder to
tell a
> good story about it.
> I am not taking sides on qual-quant debate (which, being bi-, I find
> tiresome), but on the different outcomes in public and scholarly
> of the different forms of research. Obviously, we need both.
>  Barry

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