Soft Systems and musical metaphors—The surprising connections of mathematics, language, and family processes

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

International Journal of Educational Research


This chapter has three major themes. First, the use of multiple models, facilitated by recent statistical analytic approaches like soft modeling, provides useful frameworks for interpreting findings and generating research questions. Second, the studies described in this view provide much-needed examples of using multiple research methods and combining qualitative and quantitative approaches for collecting and interpreting data. That is, the researchers have risked being intrusive and personal in order to be relevant. Finally, the cross-cultural analyses may be illuminating but also very disturbing to people who may not appreciate or sanction such critical, quantitative inquiry. Interpreting such intricate and subtle findings, based on the eclestic sampling of studies, involves the risk of losing balance and the influences of context. In essence, the chapters in this review point to the importance of honoring diversity of assumptions and beliefs in doing cross-cultural research.


Copyright © 1994 Published by Elsevier Ltd.