Social Inequalities Forum: "An introduction to Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA)" (by Dr. Judith Glaesser, Tübingen)

Mar 29, 2022 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM


Judith Glaesser

An introduction to Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA): from the example of relative educational poverty to first archaeological applications
Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) was developed by the political scientist and sociologist Charles Ragin – the method has not been applied in archaeology yet. QCA cannot easily be allocated either to the quantitative or the qualitative research tradition, it combines elements from both. Cases are at the core of the analysis. Cases can be anything: an individual, a region, a site… QCA treats cases holistically, as combinations of attributes. Based on formal logic, set theory and Boolean algebra, QCA analyses combinations of conditions which are sufficient and/or necessary for the outcome under study. Thus, it is able to take account of the context in which factors have their effects.
In her presentation, Judith Glaesser will give an overview of QCA, and, drawing on relative educational poverty as an example, she will demonstrate its application. In an open discussion we will try to transfer the approach from the sociological case study of contemporary social inequalities into the sphere of archaeology and related subjects.

CV Judith Glaesser
Judith Glaesser is a research fellow at the Methods Center, Tübingen University. She took a degree (Diplom) in psychology at Konstanz University, followed by a PhD in sociology also at Konstanz. She then spent 10 years at the School of Education, Durham University, UK, first as research fellow, then as lecturer and senior lecturer. She came to Tübingen in 2016 initially to work at the Tübingen School of Education, joining the Methods Center in 2018.
Her areas of research are sociology of education and research methods, in particular the set-theoretic method Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), and she also has an interest in research design more generally.
Personal website:

Selected publications:
Glaesser, J. (2021). Relative educational poverty: conceptual and empirical issues. Quality & Quantity,
Glaesser, J. (2021). Exploring the issue of asymmetry in analysing educational poverty using Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA). Methological Innovations,
Cooper, B. & Glaesser, J. (2016). Analysing necessity and sufficiency with Qualitative Comparative Analysis: how do results vary as case weights change? Quality & Quantity 50(1): 327-346.
Cooper, B. & Glaesser, J. (2016). Exploring the robustness of set theoretic findings from a large n fsQCA: An illustration from the sociology of education. International Journal of Social Research Methodology 19(4): 445-459.
Cooper, B. & Glaesser, J. (2016). Qualitative Comparative Analysis, necessary conditions and limited diversity: some problematic consequences of Schneider and Wagemann’s Enhanced Standard Analysis. Field Methods 28(3): 300-315.
Glaesser, J. (2015). Young people's educational careers in England and Germany. Integrating survey and interview analysis via Qualitative Comparative Analysis. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Glaesser, J. & Cooper, B. (2014). Exploring the consequences of a recalibration of causal conditions when assessing sufficiency with fuzzy set QCA. International Journal of Social Research Methodology 17(4): 387-401.
Glaesser, J. & Cooper, B. (2014). Using Rational Action Theory and Bourdieu's Habitus theory together to account for Educational Decision-making in England and Germany. Sociology 48(3): 463-481.
Cooper, B., Glaesser, J., Hammersley, M. & Gomm, R. (2012). Challenging the Qualitative-Quantitative Divide. Explorations in Case-focused Causal Analysis. London: Continuum.

For more information and the videoconference link, please contact Tim Kerig

Find the ZOOM link here:

Meeting-ID: 681 1912 3383
Kenncode: 965429


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