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Publication Detail
Developing Typologies in Qualitative Research: The Use of Ideal-type Analysis
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Stapley E, O'Keeffe S, Midgley N
  • Publisher:
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    International Journal of Qualitative Methods
  • Volume:
  • Status:
  • Print ISSN:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    mixed methods, typologies, qualitative methods, ideal-type analysis, critical realism
  • Notes:
    This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/)
The tradition of developing typologies has been prominent in research, particularly within the fields of psychology and sociology, for decades. A typology is formed by grouping cases or participants into types on the basis of their common features. Despite the prominence of typologies in research, methodological guidance on the process of developing a typology, particularly as a qualitative method for analysing data, is scarce. Ideal-type analysis is a relatively new addition to the family of qualitative research methods, which offers a systematic, rigorous method for constructing typologies from qualitative data. In our approach to ideal-type analysis, the methodology consists of seven steps: becoming familiarised with the dataset; writing the case reconstructions; constructing the ideal types; identifying the optimal cases; forming the ideal-type descriptions; checking credibility; and making comparisons. This article is a summary of our approach to conducting ideal-type analysis. We hope that this article will help researchers to consider whether using ideal-type analysis may be a suitable approach for their own studies.
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