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38. Facet Methodology

 
Facet methodology is a new model for creative approaches to mixed method research, developed at the Morgan Centre.

Facet methodology is a new model for creative approaches to mixed method research, developed at the Morgan Centre.

Facet Methodology is a new model for mixed method approaches to research, developed in the Morgan Centre for Research into Everyday Lives.

Facet methodology involves the use of a strategically chosen cluster of methods to explore the research question from different angles. Each ‘facet’, like a face of a gemstone, casts different light on the social phenomenon being studied.

For example, one of the earliest projects to use facet methodology was the Morgan Centre’s Living Resemblances project which explored the significance of family resemblances. A number of facets were employed to illuminate how people understand family resemblances and how resemblances are used to delineate ‘family’, including: creative interviews; experimental methods more typical in psychological research; expert interviews; and ‘vox pop’ interviews working with a photographer.

Facets are not simply discrete research topics, or mini studies which are part of a bigger project. And they are not designed, as in more traditional mixed method research, for the researcher to be able to ‘triangulate’ their data. Instead, the data generated from this approach can be contrasting as well as complementary.

In fact, the production of complex and sometimes contradictory data is a hallmark of facet methodology. The approach assumes that the world we live in is not simple and so to understand it best we need to take a similarly nuanced and multi-dimensional approach to researching it.

Further reading

 

1 Comment

  1. Laura Funk says:

    This is great to hear about. I have been frustrated with approaches to mixed methods which expect and seek convergence in findings, that they will validate or confirm one true picture of the phenomena, and so on.

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