Mixing methods in the study of language attitudes
Mixed methods research (MMR) is currently on the rise in the social sciences. This paper provides a theoretical discussion and a practical illustration of MMR in the social psychological study of language attitudes. First, I review perceived obstacles to MMR - in particular, the ‘incompatibility thesis’, whereby quantitative and qualitative methods are assumed to clash epistemologically. I propose an alternative account by which qual and quan research on language attitudes can be integrated on a common theoretical basis that holds attitudes to constitute interactionally processed ‘human epistemological constructs’ (HECs). I apply this approach in MMR on Austrian German, where I integrate a qual analysis of language-attitudinal HECs found in discourse data with a quan speaker evaluation experiment designed to corroborate the qual exegesis.