What is qualitative secondary analysis? How can it be most effectively applied in social research? This timely and accomplished book offers readers a well informed, reliable guide to all aspects of qualitative secondary analysis. The book: Defines secondary analysis. Distinguishes between quantitative and qualitative secondary analysis. Maps the main types of qualitative secondary analysis. Covers the key ethical and legal issues. Offers a practical guide to effective research. Sets the agenda for future developments in the subject. Written by an experienced researcher and teacher with a background in sociology, the book is a comprehensive and invaluable introduction to this growing field of social research.

Levels of Measurement

Depending upon their nature, social phenomena can be measured with one of four distinctive levels of measurement precision, which range from very simple (doing no more than giving a label or an approximate comparative size like ‘more than’ or ‘less than’) to numerically sophisticated (on which arithmetic calculations can be made).

Section Outline: All research entails measurement. Quantitative measurement describes in brief precise ways, which can be mathematically manipulated. Nominal level: labels. Ordinal levels: rankings. Interval level: uniform differences. Ratio level: zero-based numbers. Attributing numbers to sociological concepts.

All social research – indeed work in all disciplines (Rose and Sullivan 1993; Polgar and Thomas 1991) – involves measurement. Even qualitative researchers (Qualitative Methods) who are often reluctant to admit it, use measurement (albeit low ...

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