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Methodological Issues in Researching Migration

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Population geographers should consider a mixed methods approach to thestudy of migration. This methodological position arises in response to the challenges of contemporary social theory. It is argued that application of structuration theory favours use of a diversity of methods to investigate the recursive relationship between agency and structure. Similarly a realist stance, as advocated by Sayer (1992), leads to a mixing of methods in order to carry out the synthesising tasks expected of geographers. Postmodernism, when interpreted as method, also points the researcher to consider adopting flexible research practices in order to capture the multiplicities of meaning associated with migration and place. These points are illustrated by a case study of migration to and from Hong Kong.
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Keywords: Mixed methods; migration; quantitative and qualitative techniques; social theory

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Dundee

Publication date: 1999-02-01

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