This chapter discusses the opportunities presented by bringing quantitative data into dialogue with qualitative data in secondary qualitative analysis. Drawing on examples from linked studies, we describe three ways in which such dialogue can take place: (i) in the original design of the study that generated the data; (ii) in the use of quantitative data to ‘situate’ qualitative data within research designs for secondary analysis; (iii) in the development of theory. We show how quantitative data can assist us to: (i) place evidence from qualitative cases in the context of aggregate patterns, allowing us to understand how participants in the qualitative study were ‘situated with respect to population heterogeneity’ (Irwin, 2013);
(ii) identify cases within a large qualitative database for in-depth analysis or for systematic comparison; (iii) assemble qualitative cases for comparison. We argue that bringing qualitative secondary analysis into dialogue with representative quantitative data casts a spotlight on the extent to which our interpretation of macro-social trends often implicitly draws on ‘black box’ inferences about the meanings and goals underpinning social action. By raising questions about these inferences, this dialogue can be generative for the development of theory and to identify new questions for qualitative secondary analysis. Finally, we discuss some problems that can arise in using quantitative methods in qualitative secondary analysis.