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Our Reading Group

The inaugural meeting on 11 June 2021 opens Li’s Reading Group (LRG). LRG is comprised of a group of academics and HDRs who meet once a month to read and discuss scientific articles with a focus on research paradigm and theories. Meeting time: the first Friday of the month from 5-6pm (AEST) / 3-4pm Singapore time. Venue: Zoom.

If you are interested to join our reading group, please contact Sandy Rea via email:

Johnson, B. R. & Onwuegbuzie, A. J. (2004). Mixed methods research: A research paradigm whose time has come. Educational Researcher, 33(7), 14-26.

Abstract: The purposes of this article are to position mixed methods research (mixed research is a synonym) as the natural complement to traditional qualitative and quantitative research, to present pragmatism as offering a n attractive philosophical partner for mixed methods research, and to provide a framework for designing and conducting mixed methods research. In doing this, we briefly review the paradigm "wars" and incompatibility thesis, we show some commonalities between quantitative and qualitative research, we explain the tenets of pragmatism we explain the fundamental principle of mixed research and how to apply it, we provide specific sets of designs for the two major types of mixed methods research (mixed-model) designs and mixed-method designs), and, finally, we explain mixed methods research as following (recursively) an eight-step process. A key feature of mixed methods research is its methodological pluralism or eclecticism, which frequently results in superior research (compared to mono-method research). Mixed methods research will be successful as more investigators study and help advance its concepts and as they regularly practice it.

Yazan, B. (2015). Three Approaches to Case Study Methods in Education: Yin, Merriam, and Stake. The Qualitative Report, 20(2), 134-152. Retrieved from

Abstract: Case study methodology has long been a contested terrain in social sciences research which is characterized by varying, sometimes opposing, approaches espoused by many research methodologists. Despite being one of the most frequently used qualitative research methodologies in educational research,  the methodologists do not have a full consensus on the design and implementation of case study, which hampers its full evolution. Focusing on the landmark works of three prominent methodologists, namely Robert Yin, Sharan Merriam, Robert Stake, I attempt to scrutinize the areas where their perspectives diverge, converge and complement one another in varying dimensions of case study research. I aim to help the emerging researchers in the field of education familiarize themselves with the diverse views regarding
case study that lead to a vast array of techniques and strategies, out of which they can come up with a combined perspective which best serves their research purpose.

Perry, C. (1998). Processes of a case study methodology for postgraduate research in marketing. European Journal of Marketing, 32, 785-802.

Abstract: This paper reports the Australian development of a successful, structured approach to using the case study methodology in postgraduate research. The paper is designed for postgraduate research students in marketing and their supervisors, for its aim is to present and justify guidelines for using the case study research methodology in honours, masters and PhD research theses. That is, only case studies used in postgraduate theses are considered, and not those used for other purposes such as consulting, program evaluation or market research.

Guba, E. G., & Lincoln, Y. S. (1994). Competing paradigms in qualitative research. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (pp. 105-117). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Abstract:  In this chapter we analyze four paradigms that currently are competing, or have until recently competed, for acceptance as the paradigm of choice in informing and guiding inquiry, especially qualitative inquiry: positivism, postpositivism, critical theory and related ideological positions, and constructivism. We acknowledge at once our own commitment to constructivism (which we earlier called "naturalistic inquiry"; Lincoln & Guba, 1985); the reader may wish to take that fact into account in judging the appropriateness and usefulness of our analysis.

Although the title of this volume, Handbook of Qualitative Research, implies that the term qualitative is an umbrella term superior to the term paradigm (and, indeed, that usage is not uncommon), it is our position that it is a term that ought to be reserved for a description of types of methods. From our perspective, both qualitative and quantitative methods may be used appropriately with any research paradigm. Questions of method are secondary to questions of paradigm, which we define as the basic belief system or worldview that guides the investigator, not only in choices of method but in ontologically and epistemologically fundamental ways.

It is certainly the case that interest in alternative paradigms has been stimulated by a growing dissatisfaction with the patent overemphasis on quantitative methods. But as efforts were made to build a case for a renewed interest in qualitative approaches, it became clear that the metaphysical assumptions undergirding the conventional paradigm (the "received view") must be seriously questioned. Thus the emphasis of this chapter is on paradigms, their assumptions, and the implications of those assumptions for a variety of research issues, not on the relative utility of qualitative versus quantitative methods. Nevertheless, as discussions of paradigms/methods over the past decade have often begun with a consideration of problems associated with overquantification, we will also begin there, shifting only later to our predominant interest.

Norenzayan, A., & Heine, S. J. (2005). Psychological universals: What are they and how can we know? Psychological Bulletin, 131, 763–784.

Abstract: Psychological universals, or core mental attributes shared by humans everywhere, are a foundational postulate of psychology, yet explicit analysis of how to identify such universals is lacking. This article offers a conceptual and methodological framework to guide the investigation of genuine universals through empirical analysis of psychological patterns across cultures. Issues of cross-cultural generalizability of psychological processes and 3 cross-cultural research strategies to probe universals are considered. Four distinct levels of hierarchically organized universals are possible: From strongest to weakest claims for universality, they are accessibility universals, functional universals, existential universals, and nonuniversals. Finally, universals are examined in relation to the questions of levels of analysis, evolutionary explanations of psychological processes, and management of cross-cultural relations.