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Qualitative Family Research

A Newsletter of the Qualitative Family Research Network


National Council on Family Relations

Volume 8, Number 1 May 1994

Analytic
Induction:
A
Focused
Approach

to
Interpretive
Research


By
Jane
F.
Gilgun

University
of
Minnesota,
Twin
Cities,
USA



 Analytic
 induction
 rarely
 is
 used
 in
 contemporary
 qualitative
 family
 research.
 A

method
useful
for
testing,
elaborating,
and
even
discovering
theory,
analytic
induction
was

used
 by
 Thomas
 and
 Znaniecki
 (l918/1920)
 in
 The
 Polish
 Peasant
 in
 Europe
 and
 America

and
 in
 subsequent
 research
 monographs
 of
 the
 Chicago
 School
 of
 Sociology
 (e.g.
 Angell,

1936;
Becker,
1962;
Cressey,
1950;
1953;
Lindesmith,
1947).
Angell's
work
was
seminal
for

the
 field
 of
 family
 therapy
 in
 discovering
 and
 convincing
 others
 of
 the
 centrality
 of
 the

concepts
of
family
integration
and
adaptability
(Boss,
1987).
Cressey's
study
of
embezzlers

clearly
shows
the
research
processes
involved
in
doing
analytic
induction.


A
Recent
Negative
Evaluation



 Manning's
 (l991)
 recent
 evaluation
made
it
even
 less
 likely
 that
 analytic
 induction

would
 be
 used
 in
 contemporary
 research.
 Manning
 developed
 evaluative
 criteria
 from

paradigms
that
do
not
fit
analytic
induction
as
a
set
of
research
processes.
He
faulted
the

method
for
its
failure
to
predict,
its
failure
to
produce
causal
theory,
and
what
he
said
was

its
 deficits
 in
 accounting
 for
 variation.
 Had
 Manning
 read
 Bogdan
 and
 Biklen's
 (l992)

description
 of
 the
 method,
 he
 might
 have
 realized
 that
 there
 are
 other
 reasons
 besides

causation
and
prediction
to
use
of
analytic
induction.
He
also
would
have
seen
that
it
can

account
for
variation.


Another
Way
of
Thinking
About
Analytic
Induction



 Bogdan
and
Biklen
(l992)
discuss
and
give
examples
of
modified
analytic
induction,

where
 the
 purpose
 is
 to
 identify
 patterns
 of
 social
 processes
 and
 not
 the
 generation
 of

causal,
 universal
 hypotheses.
 The
 patterns
 are
 worded
 so
 that
 they
 are
 statements
 of

relationships
written
in
universalistic
language.
Researchers
who
do
analytic
induction
use

not
 statistical
 probability
 in
 their
 generalizing
 and
 prediction,
 but
 use
 analytic

generalization,
 where
 the
 findings
 of
 one
 study
 are
 used
 as
 working
 hypotheses
 and
 are

tested
for
their
fit
in
other
situations
(Gilgun,
1994).
The
language
is
universalistic
simply

because
there
appears
to
be
no
other
way
to
write
the
hypotheses
resulting
from
analytic

induction.
 Yet,
 these
 hypotheses
 are
 interpreted
 through
 analytic
 generalization
 and
 not

probabilistic
generalization.


Qualitative Family Research, 8(1)


Page 1 of 4

 Analytic
 induction
 involves
 the
 development
 of
 one
 or
 more
 hypotheses
 prior
 to

entry
 into
 the
 field,
 testing
 and
 modification
 of
 the
 hypotheses
 during
 data
 analysis,
 and

finishing
 with
 hypotheses
 rooted
 in
 data.
 Best
 of
 all,
 it
 allows
 for
 the
 emergence
 of

unexpected
 findings.
 The
 principles
of
 negative
 case
 analysis
 guide
 the
 selection
 of
 cases,

which
are
chosen
on
their
promise
of
disconfirming
the
working
hypotheses.



Common
Roots
with
Grounded
Theory



 Sharing
 its
 Chicago
 School
 of
 Sociology
 roots
 with
 grounded
 theory
 (Glaser,
 1992,

1974;
 Glaser
 &
 Strauss,
 1967;
 Strauss,
 1987;
 Strauss
 &
 Corbin,
 1990),
 analytic
 induction

uses
 some
 similar
 procedures,
 but
 it
 differs
 in
 when
 it
 brings
 concepts
 into
 the
 analysis.

Grounded
 theory
 researchers
 want
 the
 concepts
 to
 emerge,
 while
 those
 who
 do
 analytic

induction
 pre‐select
 hypotheses
 and
 the
 concepts.
 In
 the
 conduct
 of
 analytic
 induction,

however,
 new
 concepts
 can
 emerge.
 Besides
 in
 those
 works
 cited
 earlier,
 discussions
 of

analytic
induction
can
be
found
in
Denzin
(l978),
Robinson
(1951),
and
Znaniecki
(l934).


A
Bridge
with
Logico­Deductive
Research





 Analytic
induction
can
provide
a
bridge
between
logico‐deductive
research
focused

on
hypothesis
testing
and
the
more
interpretive
approaches
represented
by
various
types

of
qualitative
research.
Ph.D.
students
with
advisers
and
committee
chairs
unfamiliar
with

some
 other
 qualitative
 approaches
 might
 look
 favorably
 on
 analytic
 induction
 because
 it

follows
so
many
procedures
with
which
most
professors
are
familiar.




 For
 example,
 dissertation
 research
 using
 analytic
 induction
 can
 be
 set
 up
 so
 that

students
 do
 a
 thorough
 literature
 review,
 develop
 hypotheses
 from
 this
 review,
 and
 then

set
out
to
test
them
on
a
series
of
cases.
The
product
will
be
a
set
of
hypotheses,
some
likely

to
 be
 fairly
 descriptive
 and
 others
 statements
 of
 relationships.
 These
 hypotheses
 will
 be

firmly
rooted
in
data
on
the
one
hand
and
also
embedded
in
previous
research
and
theory.



Dealing
with
Unexpected
Findings



 When
there
are
unexpected
findings,
these
can
be
noted
as
areas
for
future
research

and
some
key
pieces
of
related
research
cited.
It
is
not
be
necessary
to
do
a
full
analysis
of

how
 these
 unexpected
 findings
 fit
 into
 current
 knowledge.
 This
 involves
 doing
 a
 second

study
and
gets
away
from
whatever
the
original
purpose
of
the
research
might
have
been.



 Analytic
 induction,
 then,
 has
 great
 potential
 for
 interpretive
 researchers
 who
 are

interested
 in
 using
 theory
 and
 doing
 hypothesis
 testing.
 Still
 challenging
 in
 terms
 of
 time

and
certainly
in
terms
of
thinking
and
research
skills,
analytic
induction
once
can
become
a

fruitful
addition
is
the
repertoire
of
qualitative,
interpretive
methods.


Qualitative Family Research, 8(1)


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 References


Methodological
Pieces
on
Analytic
Induction


Bogdan,
Robert
C.,
&
Sarri
Knopp
Biklen
(l992).
Qualitative
research
for
education
(2nd
ed.).

Boston:
Allyn
&
Bacon.


Boss,
Pauline
(l987).
Family
stress.
In
Marvin
B.
Sussman
&
Suzanne
K.
Steinmetz
(Eds.),

Handbook
of
Marriage
and
the
Family
(pp.
695‐723).
New
York:
Plenum.


Denzin,
Norman
(l978).
The
research
act
(2nd
ed.).

New
York:
McGraw‐Hill.


Gilgun,
Jane
F.
(l994).
A
case
for
case
studies
in
social
work
research.
Social

 Work,
39,
in

press.


Manning,
Peter
K.
(l991).
Analytic
induction.
In
Ken
Plummer
(Ed.),
Symbolic

interactionism,
Vol.
II:
Contemporary
issues
(pp.
401‐430).
Brookfield,

 VT:
Elgar.

(Reprinted
from
R,
Smith
&
Peter
K.
Manning
(Eds.)
(l982),
Qualitative
methods.

Cambridge,
MA:
Ballinger.




Robinson,
William
S.
(1951).
The
logical
structure
of
analytic
induction.
American

Sociological
Review,
16,
812‐818.


Znaniecki,
Florian
(l934).
The
method
of
sociology.
New
York:
Farrar
&
Rinehart.


Examples
of
Analytic
Induction


Angell,
Robert
A.
The
family
encounters
the
depression.
New
York:
Scribners.



Becker,
Howard
(l953).
Becoming
a
marihuana
user.
American
Journal
of
Sociology,
59,
235‐
242.


Cressey,
Donald
R.
(l950).

Criminal
violation
of
financial
trust,
American
Sociological

Review,
15,
738‐743.


Cressey,
Donald
(l953).
Other
people's
money.
Glencoe,
IL:
Free
Press.


Cressey,
Donald
R.
(l951).
Criminal
violation
of
financial
trust.
American
Sociological

Review,
15,
738‐743.


Lindesmith,
Alfred
R.
(l947).
Addictions
and
opiates.
Chicago:
Aldine.


Manning,
Peter
K.
(l971).
Fixing
what
you
feared:
Notes
on
the
campus
abortion


 search.
In
J.
Henslin
(Ed.),
The
sociology
of
sex.
New
York:
Appleton‐Century‐Crofts.



Thomas,
William
I.
&
Florian
Znaniecki
(1918/1920).
The
Polish
peasant
in
Europe
and


Qualitative Family Research, 8(1)


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America
(5
vols.).
Chicago:
University
of
Chicago
Press.


Cited
References
on
Grounded
Theory



Glaser,
Barney
(l992).
Basics
of
grounded
theory
analysis.
Mill
Valley,
CA:
Sociology
Press.

Glaser,
Barney
(l978).
Theoretical
sensitivity.
Mill
Valley,
CA:
Sociology
Press.


Glaser,
Barney,
&
Anselm
Strauss
(l967).
The
discovery
of
grounded
theory.
Chicago:
Aldine.

Strauss,
Anselm
(l987).
Qualitative
analysis
for
social
scientists.
New
York:
Cambridge.


Strauss,
Anselm,
&
Juliet
Corbin
(l990).
Basics
of
qualitative
research.
Newbury
Park,
CA:

Sage.


About
this
Publication



Qualitative
Family
Research
was
a
newsletter
of
the
Qualitative
Family
Research
Network,

National
 Council
 on
 Family
 Relations,
 Minneapolis,
 Minnesota,
 USA.
 It
 ceased
 publication

by
 the
 end
 of
 the
 1990s.
 Jane
 F.
 Gilgun,
 Ph.D.,
 was
 editor
 from
 1990‐1995
 and
 then

periodically
afterward.



Professor
Gilgun
is
making
the
articles
from
Qualitative
Family
Research
available
because

she
believes
that
the
information
is
important
and
hard
to
find.



Jane
F.
Gilgun,
Ph.D.,
LICSW,
is
a
professor,
School
of
Social
Work,
University
of
Minnesota,

Twin
 Cities,
 USA.
 Her
 articles,
 books,
 and
 children’s
 stories
 are
 available
 on

scribd.com/professorjane,
Amazon
Kindle,
and
stores.lulu.com/jgilgun


Qualitative Family Research, 8(1)


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