Not All Secondary Data is Quantitative: Abductive Analysis and Edin and England’s Interviews With Fragile Families

Publication Year


Journal Article

Secondary data analysis is a popular method in social sciences, as it is often less labor-intensive and less expensive than collecting and analyzing one’s own primary data. However, because secondary data analysis is generally associated with quantitative survey data, many assume that the use of secondary data precludes an in-depth, inductive research approach. In this methods case, I demonstrate both the existence and the utility of qualitative data sets available for use by others by introducing Paula England and Kathryn Edin’s Time, Love, and Cash in Couples with Children (TLC3) project and discussing how I located and accessed these data, along with the abductive process my collaborators and I used to analyze it and the sociological insights we discovered with the method.

Sage Research Methods Part 2