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Mixed qualitative-simulation methods: Understanding geography through thick and thin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalProgress in Human Geography
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Feb 2016


  • ThickAndThin_Accepted

    ThickAndThin_18Oct15_nA.docx, 220 KB, application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document


    Accepted author manuscript

King's Authors


Across geography there has been variable engagement with the use of simulation and agent-based modelling. We argue that agent-based simulation provides a complementary method to investigate geographical issues which need not be used in ways that are epistemologically different in kind from some other approaches in contemporary geography. We propose mixed qualitative-simulation methods that iterate back-and-forth between ‘thick’ (qualitative) and ‘thin’ (simulation) approaches and between the theory and data they produce. These mixed methods accept simulation modelling as process and practice; a way of using computers with concepts and data to ensure social theory remains embedded in day-to-day geographical thinking.

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