Michelle, Carolyn, & Charles H. Davis (2014). Beyond the qualitative / quantitative "divide": Reflections on the utility and challenges of Q methodology for media researchers. In Fabienne Darling Wolf (Ed.) (General Editor: Angharad N. Valdivia), The international encyclopedia of media studies: Vol. 7. Research methods in media studies (pp. 112-134). Maldin, MA (USA), Chichester, West Sussex (UK): Wiley-Blackwell. (Link: https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444361506.wbiems175)

Abstract: This chapter introduces readers to Q methodology, a methodological hybrid concerned with revealing similarities and differences in people’s viewpoints, attitudes, beliefs, and experiences. The history of Q methodology is first outlined, and its key principles and processes are explained, before a brief case study is presented in which Q methodology was used in an online survey of cross‐cultural responses to James Cameron’s 2009 feature film Avatar. Here, readers are taken behind the scenes to reflect on the methodological challenges faced, while some of the unique insights that Q methodology provided in this case are highlighted. Finally, the major strengths and limitations of Q methodology are discussed. It is an approach that has considerable potential to shed light on many key questions in contemporary media studies.

Carolyn Michelle <c.michelle@waikato.ac.nz> is affiliated with the School of Social Sciences, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand; Charles H Davis <c5davis@ryerson.ca> is on the Faculty of Communication & Design, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada.