This note describes the results of the roundtable discussion on mixed methods research (MMR) held in HSE (November 26, 2015).The conceptual framework of MMR, i.e. research that is characterized by mixing of quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis methods, was the main focus of the discussion. The key topics were: the practices of using different terms to refer to MMR studies in the Russian sociology discourse; theoretical basis of combining quantitative and qualitative research methods; justification of the “mixed strategy” concept as the most relevant to refer to MMR in Russian language; problems of describing MMR results and interpreting data stemming from different data sources.
The importance of studying childhood as a self-sufficient object of social practice is debated in the paper. A review of the formation of this direction in sociology is offered, basic principles are designated. The empirical part of the work is devoted to the study of kindergarten as a special life world for children. Special attention is paid to the description of the data collection method – interview-game, which I consider an adequate method for studying the children opinions. The methodical aspects of the interview-game usage are described. Analysis shows that children turn out to be unique “experts” of the world of childhood who, through a specially constructed conversation, can tell about their activity in the kindergarten and about their ideas for changing educational practices. Children emphasize importance of free playing with peers during the day, the specificity of care practices (eating and sleeping), the interaction tactics between the teacher and children, make their suggestions for creating more comfortable conditions in the kindergarten. Children turn out to be very creative innovators of practices to reconstruct the space of a kindergarten and to change the teacher’s role and rules of communication. Our research shows that the grains of these ideas must be seriously and systematically collected to fully comprehend what the child wants to say. Methodically, the interview of children is one more step in the development of the method as data collection.
The article describes the main characteristics and differences between quantitative and qualitative methods. The advantages and disadvantages of these groups of methods are analyzed with reference to the study of socio-psychological phenomena and processes, it is concluded that the separate use of only one class of methods in the study can lead to the construction of an inadequate picture of the reality under study. The emergence of a strategy of "mixed methods" is natural. However, the joint use of different methods in one study involves solving a number of methodological and methodological problems of their correlation. The variants of combining quantitative and qualitative methods, proposed by D. Morgan in his sequential priorities model, are considered in detail.
The article explores the pre-school girlhood as a culture which effects on construction of gender identity. It is based on the example of studying the maternal reflection of preschool education of girls in kindergarten. The empirical base of the research contains 11 interviews with mothers of girls at preschool age and 4 dyadic interviews (with both mothers and daughters aged 4–7) gathered in spring 2016. One of the goals of the study is to detect the elements of 'hidden curriculum' – the latent system of norms, which implicitly broadcast gender standards. Analysis of the variety of practices and aspects of kindergarten (educational programs, after-dinner sleeping, game playing, communication etc.) shows that 'hidden curriculum' permeates the entire daily routine of preschool-aged children. Analysis of the collected interviews shows that mothers support the gender order of the child’s education and care in kindergarten, putting forward their arguments of consent and justification of the educational practices embodied in the kindergarten routine. Cooperating with kindergarten’s teachers, they produce a 'hidden curriculum' that imposes the traditional model of femininity; this creates socialization practices that set a narrow framework for the construction of girl gender identity, depriving girls of the opportunity to follow the individual educational trajectory and to develop their own unique personality. The gendered 'hidden curriculum' proves to be an effective mechanism for both formations of the preschool girlhood and the starting framework for further gender socialization at school. As a matter of fact, the kindergarten prepares girl not only to learn in school but to be a good 'schoolgirl', which assumes the assimilation the social-determined norms prescribed for appropriate girls behavior and attitudes.