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Theory and methods in spatial analysis: towards integrating qualitative, quantitative and cartographic approaches in the social sciences and humanities

Theorie und Methode der Raumanalyse: ein Vorschlag zur Integration qualitativer, quantitativer und kartographischer Ansätze in den Sozial- und Geisteswissenschaften
[journal article]

Baur, Nina; Herring, Linda; Raschke, Anna Laura; Thierbach, Cornelia

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-384005

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Abstract A main obstacle for integrating the methodological debates on spatial analysis in diverse social sciences and humanities (such as Sociology, Geography, History and Cultural Studies) is the lack of a common definition of research goals and theories of space. Starting from the discussion on absolute and relational space concepts as well as the observation that space is a multi-level-phenomenon consisting of different spatial layers which interact with time layers, the authors argue that all spatial problems can be categorized into one of five dimensions: (1) Thinking and Imagining Space; (2) Creating and Changing Space; (3) Experiencing, Appropriating and Orientating within Space; (4) (Inter)Action and Distribution within Space; and (5) Relations and Movements between Spaces. The authors discuss the contribution of various qualitative approaches (e.g. ethnography, case studies and discourse analysis), quantitative approaches (e.g. surveys, public administrational data and GIS) and cartographic approaches for analysing these dimensions and conclude with open questions for future research.
Keywords zone; analysis; theory; ethnography; case study; method; methodology; cartography; social science; humanities; research approach; qualitative method; quantitative method; social area analysis
Classification Research Design; Area Development Planning, Regional Research
Method basic research; development of methods
Free Keywords spatial analysis; survey methodology; maps; GIS
Document language English
Publication Year 2014
Page/Pages p. 7-50
Journal Historical Social Research, 39 (2014) 2
Issue topic Spatial analysis
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.12759/hsr.39.2014.2.7-50
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works