Using comparative historical analysis to compensate shortcomings of cross-sectional methods in explaining causal mechanisms: lessons from a study of rice farmers in Vietnam

Anh Le, Tuan, Cottrell, Alison, and King, David (2018) Using comparative historical analysis to compensate shortcomings of cross-sectional methods in explaining causal mechanisms: lessons from a study of rice farmers in Vietnam. International Journal of Development and Sustainability, 7 (6). pp. 1914-1935.

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Abstract

The benefits of mixed methods are well recognised. Using mixed methods, researchers are able to overcome shortcomings inherent in individual methods while enhancing the validity and reliability of their research findings. Mixed methods are commonly used in cross-sectional studies – to answer research questions, and/or explore contemporary social issues. However, when researchers are interested in understanding cause and effect relationships that happened over a long period of time, Comparative-Historical Analysis (CHA), which is longitudinal by nature, can be used in combination with mixed methods to understand the causal mechanism of a series of events, and generalise the research findings. Using a case study that involves technology transfer with the rice farmers in the Mekong delta of Vietnam, we describe how CHA could be used in conjunction with mixed methods to better understand why the decade-long mutual aid farming practice among rice farmers in the Mekong delta was abandoned after more than fifty years' existence. We recommend the use of CHA in conjunction with cross-sectional methods for similar social contexts, and suggest future research that aims to understand cooperative behaviours in farm settings.

Item ID: 55870
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2186-8662
Keywords: comparative historical analysis; causal explanation; generalizability
Copyright Information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Additional Information:

Tuan Anh Le completed his Masters degree at JCU in 2009. this paper is a result of that work.

Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2018 03:01
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1604 Human Geography > 160403 Social and Cultural Geography @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960705 Rural Land Policy @ 100%
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