Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) is a method for the systematic analysis of cases. A holistic view of cases and an approach to causality emphasizing complexity are some of its core features. Over the last decades, QCA has found application in many fields of the social sciences. In spite of this, its use in feminist research has been slower, and only recently QCA has been applied to topics related to social care, the political representation of women, and reproductive politics. Feminist researchers still privilege qualitative methods, in particular case studies, and are often sceptical of quantitative techniques (Spierings 2012). These studies show that the meaning and measurement of many gender concepts differ across countries and that the factors leading to feminist success and failure are context-specific. However, this scholarship struggles to systematically account for the ways in which these forces operate in different locations. The aim of this article is to demonstrate that QCA and related techniques contribute to enhance comparative analysis in ways which aligns with core ideas in gender and feminist studies. I begin by describing the main principles of QCA as a research strategy. The following sections draw on recent contributions in comparative social policy and politics literature to illustrate how it is used to deal with issues of concept clarification and measurement, policy complexity, the presence of hybrids and the development of normative types and context-sensitive causal analysis. Finally, this article concludes by discussing promising avenues for future applications of QCA in feminist research.

Qualitative Comparative Analysis as a Tool for Concept Clarification, Typology Building, and Contextualized Comparisons in Gender and Feminist Research

Ciccia R.
2016

Abstract

Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) is a method for the systematic analysis of cases. A holistic view of cases and an approach to causality emphasizing complexity are some of its core features. Over the last decades, QCA has found application in many fields of the social sciences. In spite of this, its use in feminist research has been slower, and only recently QCA has been applied to topics related to social care, the political representation of women, and reproductive politics. Feminist researchers still privilege qualitative methods, in particular case studies, and are often sceptical of quantitative techniques (Spierings 2012). These studies show that the meaning and measurement of many gender concepts differ across countries and that the factors leading to feminist success and failure are context-specific. However, this scholarship struggles to systematically account for the ways in which these forces operate in different locations. The aim of this article is to demonstrate that QCA and related techniques contribute to enhance comparative analysis in ways which aligns with core ideas in gender and feminist studies. I begin by describing the main principles of QCA as a research strategy. The following sections draw on recent contributions in comparative social policy and politics literature to illustrate how it is used to deal with issues of concept clarification and measurement, policy complexity, the presence of hybrids and the development of normative types and context-sensitive causal analysis. Finally, this article concludes by discussing promising avenues for future applications of QCA in feminist research.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11384/80734
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