Why Integration? Why Now?
This article expands the conversation about the “integration challenge” presented by Fetters and Freshwater (Journal of Mixed Methods Research (2015) 115–7). To advance the discussion of the integration challenge, we first consider a variety of forces that have coalesced to bring attention to integration at this particular point in time in the development of mixed methods as a methodology. Next, we extend the discussion about integrated case-based analysis and integrated visual displays by using an example of a mixed methods study that used the life course perspective. Both procedures are formative in that they are used as another source of data during analysis. Following that, we shift our attention to two challenges introduced by approaches that emphasize integration. The first is how resistance to integration that is grounded in the persistent concern that qualitative and quantitative derive from fundamentally different paradigmatic perspectives can be overcome through the logic of abductive reasoning and a theoretical framework. The second is the challenge presented when integration is prioritized to find a way to visualize interactive, integrated designs in a procedural diagram. The article closes by illustrating how the DNA double helix has been used to capture the fluidity of situations where integration occurs at multiple points in the research process.