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Tapes and Tables Mixed Methods Research on Family Religion

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The authors show how qualitative and quantitative methods can be combined in a 'mixed methods' research model to provide a multifaceted view of family religion and rituals. Results from a Swiss research project on bedtime rituals are reported and methodological issues connected with this approach are discussed. In this project case studies, qualitative content analysis and a family survey (N=1344) were combined to explore the 'patterned creativity' of today's families in their ritual and religious practices. Qualitative methods elucidate the families' unique capacity to shape their ritual and religious microcosms. Families vary in the selection, combination and staging of the ritual elements they incorporate in their evening rituals with children. Quantitative methods help to identify motives and types of evening rituals and to position these types in a societal context. Together the complementary approaches also broaden the scope of the study of family prayers.


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Affiliations: 1: Institute for Practical Theology at the University of Bern, Switzerland


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