La Profesora Abstraída

Weblog of Michelle Dion, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, at McMaster University. My blog has moved to Visit my other website.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thinking about data

The following observation in Grant McCracken's musing on the qual/quant debate in business echoes an uneasiness of my students in globalization class:
The numbers people sneer at the hopeless imprecision of a world without numbers. The concept people believe that anyone who waits for the world to manifest its intentions in numbers will have waited too late.

In class, it wasn't just that sometimes the data we analyze or use to measure the extent or impact of globalization are sometimes several years old, but also that much of our academic writing on the subject is outdated by the time it reaches press.

Nevermind the implications for a field like political science, which seems to be creeping ever more steadily toward the quantitative end of the qual/quant spectrum.

posted by Michelle @ 3:52 PM,


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