Comparative Media Studies in the Digital Age| Comparative Communication Research: Why We Really Need Some More Fuzzy Thinking

John Downey


The comparative study of communication and media has made significant progress in the past 15 years or so, at least if we judge progress by the sheer quantity of comparative research now published. Methodologically speaking, comparative communication research has, however, developed largely in a quantitative direction over this time period. Qualitative methods of comparative communication research, of how best to design and conduct such research, have yet to receive sustained attention and lag behind some other fields and disciplines in the social sciences, both in terms of making comparisons over time and across space. In this feature article, I briefly make the argument that a greater engagement with qualitative methodological issues would help to make both quantitative and qualitative comparative communication research generally across its breadth and depth become more innovative, robust, and systematic.


method, qualitative comparative analysis, fuzzy set

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