1. I sympathize with Potter that quantitative studies are reductionist(259). He mainly pointed to the content analysis. But I think, often in social science, and notably in our field, scholars tend to study only those variables that are quantifiable, rather than quantifying the variable. Question remains however, is qualitative research free from this accusation?
2. The terminology of convergence that Potter used, or blurred genres is really blurred. There could be various patterns of convergence, he stopped short of specifying what type he is aiming towards. There may be a tendency to assimilate between approaches, or one complimenting the other, or one becoming a main and the other a sub. Also, since his book was from 1990s, I’d like to know what the latest trend is. I mean, who is winning? Isn’t there a study that analyzed major publications?
3. Some scholars see qualitative approach as having and antecedent value (306). Actually this is what I had gathered while doing assignments for this course. Focus group, participant observation or reception analysis gave me ideas and intuitions for future studies. And numbers of cross-national comparative studies I read used extensive case studies to establish a typology , then moved on to quantitative analysis. I have a proposition. Why don’t we discuss Dr.Harp and Ingrid’s paper that had both quantitative and qualitative method, and talk about which should have been the main and which should have been the sub.
4. I think Potter gave a very nice descriptions about why qualitative and quantitative approach are destined to be complimentary, and what quantitative can’t do what qualitative can. For example, “there is a premium placed on more phenomenological research where there are no prior expectations” (318). For me, joy of doing qualitative assignments was to find something that was not conceived before. Put it simply, I was glad when I got something unexpected in doing qualitative work, whereas when doing quantitative study, the joy was when I got the expected result.
5. Potter argued the most important force behind convergence is the desire of scholars to want it happen(331). I disagree. The most important force behind convergence is that both the quantitative and qualitative approaches are imperfect. And the most important force against convergence is scholars who don’t want it to happen.