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’
After completing the two-day course, participants
1. the difference between set-theoretic and correlational relationships
2. how to evaluate statements about causal necessity and causal
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.