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Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and Fuzzy-Set Methods
Workshop Overview

There are no Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and Fuzzy-Set Methods Workshops currently planned.


This two-day course will help participants understand the conceptual logic of qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) and provide them a basic introduction to peforming QCA using fs/QCA, a free software package. The course includes lecture and discussion, practical demonstrations, paper and pencil exercises, and computer exercises.

The first day will cover the basic logic of the method, contrasting it with conventional practices in both quantitative and qualitative social research. Participants will also have the opportunity to practice basic skills such as translating variables or field notes into sets, using scatterplots to assess different types of causal relationships, evaluating logical statements with empirical data, and using simple Boolean algebra to simplify logical statements.

The second day is devoted to putting these skills to use by working through several extended examples, considering how to incorporate QCA into qualitative and quantitative research, and—if time permits—to discussing how QCA can help with participants’ specific projects.

After completing the two-day course, participants will know…
1. the difference between set-theoretic and correlational relationships
2. how to evaluate statements about causal necessity and causal sufficiency
3. the difference between calibration and measurement
4. how to approach data configurationally instead of considering “net effects” alone
5. how to use fs/QCA software to perform basic QCA with either “crisp” or “fuzzy” data


There are no pre-requisites for this course. Basic knowledge of multiple regression techniques will help participants better understand how QCA is different from conventional social statistics, but it is by no means necessary to learn the method.


Charles Ragin’s Redesigning Social Inquiry: Fuzzy Sets and Beyond (Chicago, 2009) will be referenced throughout the course, but it is not required. Nevertheless, participants may find the book helpful both before the course (to get a basic overview) and after the course (to consolidate what they have learned) and therefore purchasing a copy is highly recommended.


Direct all queries regarding the fuzzy set methods workshops to issi [at] berkeley [dot] edu.





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University of California at Berkeley, 2009