Characteristics Interpretivist’s are SUBJECTIVE. Subjective means looking at something with bias and is value laden. They believe people make own choices and is not connected to laws of science or nature. Research tends to be done in greater detail and looks at culture and how people live their lives, unlike Positivist’s who tend to look at general overview, therefore has high validity because it is a true representation and is trustworthy. Theory represents what ought to be or normative.
Interpretivists work out people’s interpretations of the world by putting themselves in their shoes, this process is called… ‘VERSTEHEN’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phtbOcM9KWI
Advantages and Disadvantages of Theory Validity - Data is trustworthy and honest Qualitative – Data is more detailed therefore gives a more in depth into what is really happening. Science can explain people’s actions but interpretivists don’t just want descriptions they want reasons why. Tends to undermine reliability and representativeness. Results will be personal and in depth therefore cannot be necessarily generalised. Interpretivists tend to involve emotion and bias in their views but this may not always be beneficial as they may get in the way of what is really happening.
Research Methods UsedInterpretivist’s tend to use these research methods:Interviews.Observation.Which result in data being:High in ValidityQualitativeEmpathetic
ObservationAdvantages - If observation is covert this could result in less effects from the researcher. Can see participants in non- artificial environment.Disadvantages – Time. Money. Cost. Ethical issues i.e. Deception if observation is covert. Overt observation may result in changes in behaviour. Difficult to replicate. Maybe unreliable. Hard to generalise Observer effects
Interviews – structured, semi or none/open or closed questionsAdvantages- Simple and straightforward. Easily gets information that interviewer wants to know. Unstructured interviews offer a person the opportunity to develop and explain their views and thoughts (therefore beneficial for interpretivists and validity in results.)Cohen and Taylor supported this by Durham Prison study. Can provide quantitative and qualitative data therefore can be used by many.Disadvantages- Interviewer bias Social Desirability Bias (wanting to present themselves better so may be untruthful) (Supported by Goffman ) People can easily lie in interviews therefore affecting validity of results. Unstructured interviews make it harder for comparability as are all based on a personal representation of beliefs, views and attitudes.
Shoot ‘em up Interactive Quizhttp://classtools.net/my/quiz34202.htm
Questions 1)what is the most effective type of interview type for interpretivists?*Unstructured 2)Why are unstructured interviews used?*To allow people to develop beliefs and opinions 3)What is one advantage of this theory?*Data has high validity 4)What word is used to describe interaction to gain insight into someone’s life?*Verstehen 5)The meanings behind what people do result in being…..?*Non empirical 6)What S is a disadvantage of interviews?*Social Desirability Bias 7)When research has bias and is value laden what does this make it?*Subjective 8)What does validity mean?*Data is trustworthy and honest 9)What disadvantage did Goffman agree with?*Social Desirability Bias 10)What theorist are critical of official statistics?*Marxists and Feminists