The Future of the Q Methodology Movement
Concern about the future of Q methodology is examined by drawing a concourse from contributions to the Q-Method electronic discussion list, N=40 of which comprise a Q sample that is administered to n=42 participants, resulting in four factors. Those on Factor A (Orthodoxy Upheld) express a desire to maintain Stephenson's original conception of Q methodology and are concerned about intellectual leadership. Members of Factor B (Orthodoxy Applied and Promoted) are likewise supporters of the Stephenson tradition, but wish to vouchsafe Q's future through practical application to significant social issues and presenting the results in professional (non-Q) settings. Those on Factor C (Orthodoxy Reinforced) distinguish themselves from the previous two groups by virtue of their demand for greater material and non-material resources in support of the Q movement. The group on Factor D (Beyond Orthodoxy) expresses a desire to break with the past and encourage Q's accommodation with contemporary technical and conceptual developments, such as web-based Q sorting and qualitative research. Discussion focuses on the implications of these perspectives for the future of Q methodology.