Essay on Qualitative and Quantitative Research Approaches

2964 Words Dec 29th, 2005 12 Pages
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Abstract
Sports fandom consists of cognitive and affective, as well as behavioural components. Existing sports fan research utilises either strong qualitative, or more often, strong quantitative methodologies. The strengths and weaknesses of each approach are outlined, developing the argument that the use of a single methodology often fails to explore all of these components. The use of a mixed methods approach is suggested to counteract this weakness and to enhance research into the sports fan.
Introduction
Although interest in the sports fan dates back to the beginning of this century, there is little empirical research on the subject (Burca, Brannick,
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These surveys clearly illustrate the composition of the crowd, their overt behaviour, and their scalable attitudes towards pre-determined items. Although the approach is obviously useful in determining the extent of such behaviour or attitudes, the methodology adopted, however, fails to provide any explanation or analysis beyond the descriptive level.

Although the Premier League surveys do not utilise any form of statistical analysis beyond the parametric measures of frequency counts and means, Jayaratne (1993) introduces a further advantage of a quantitative research design, noting that as well as producing what may be considered more objective data, it may also allow more objective analysis. Thus, other quantitative research into the sports fan (Branscombe & Wann, 1991; 1992; Madrigal, 1995; Murrell & Dietz, 1992) demonstrates a strong emphasis upon significance testing, with most existing research examining the relationship between level of fandom and aspects of fan behaviour, such as level of identification with a team and patterns of attendance (Schurr, et al., 1987), fan satisfaction (Madrigal, 1995), or evaluation of team performance (Wann & Dolan, 1994). Many of the scales used within these studies are also tested for validity and reliability, thus claiming further "scientific" credibility, such as the use of the Sport Spectator Identification Scale

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