Afro centric methodology and proper research design


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An analysis of where the Afro-Centric Method fits in modern research designs.

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Afro centric methodology and proper research design

  1. 1. Afro-Centric Methodology and Proper Research Design By Asar Imhotep March 30, 2014
  2. 2. Objectives One of the purposes of a course in research is to help you learn how to think critically about the things people tell you. • Is their research sound? • Is the conclusion they draw the best one? • Do they have something to gain from getting certain results? This process of critical thinking is a hallmark of science, but it is also a useful tool in everyday life.
  3. 3. Preliminary Considerations The Selection of a Research Design
  4. 4. The Three Types of Designs 1.Qualitative Design 2.Quantitative Design 3.Mixed Methods Design
  5. 5. Research Designs as Worldviews, Strategies and Methods • Quantitative approach – Postpositivist worldview, experimental strategy of inquiry, and pre- and post-test measures of attitudes • In this scenario, the researcher tests a theory by specifying narrow hypotheses and the collection of data to support or refute the hypotheses. An experimental design is used in which attitudes are assessed both before and after an experimental treatment. The data are collected on an instrument that measures attitudes, and the information is analyzed using statistical procedures and hypothesis testing.
  6. 6. Research Designs as Worldviews, Strategies and Methods • Qualitative approach – Constructivist worldview, ethnographic design and observation of behavior. • In this situation, the researcher seeks to establish the meaning of a phenomenon from the views of participants. This means identifying a culture- sharing group and studying how it develops shared patterns of behavior over time (i.e., ethnography). One of the key elements of collecting data in this way is to observe participants’ behaviors by engaging in their activities.
  7. 7. Research Designs as Worldviews, Strategies and Methods • Qualitative approach – Participatory worldview, narrative design and open-ended interviewing. • For this study, the inquirer seeks to examine an issue related to oppression of individuals. To study this, stories are collected of individual oppression using a narrative approach. Individuals are interviewed at some length to determine how they have personally experienced oppression.
  8. 8. Research Designs as Worldviews, Strategies and Methods • Mixed methods approach – Pragmatic worldview, collection of both quantitative and qualitative data seqentially. • The researcher bases the inquiry on the assumption that collecting diverse types of data best provides an understanding of a research problem. The study begins with a broad survey in order to generalize results to a population and then, in a second phase, focuses on qualitative, open-ended interviews to collect detailed views from participants.
  9. 9. The Use of Theory • One component of reviewing the literature is to determine what theories might be used to explore the questions in a scholarly study. • In Quantitative research, researchers often test theories as an explanation for answers tot their questions. • In Qualitative research, the use of theory is much more varied. The inquirer may generate a theory as the final outcome of a study and place it at the end of a project, such as in grounded theory
  10. 10. Definition of a Theory • Kerlinger (1979: 64) • A theory is a set of interrelated constructs (variables), definitions and propositions [or hypotheses] that presents a systematic view of phenomena by specifying elations among variables, with the purpose of explaining natural phenomena. • A theory might appear in a research study as an argument, a discussion, or a rationale, and it helps to explain (or predict) phenomena that occur in the world.
  11. 11. Theory as a framework for explaining phenomena • A theory helps us understand behavior in a general sense. In scientific use, a theory is a general, organizing principle. When we have enough relevant information about behavior, we can develop an explanatory framework that puts all of that information into a nice, neat package—that is, into a theory. In order to develop a theory, we look at the facts that we believe to be true and try to develop a coherent framework that links the facts to one another. The next step is to test the theory to see if it successfully predicts the results of new research. So we generate hypotheses, which are educated guesses, about behaviors, and we test those hypotheses with research. The research shows us whether our hypotheses are correct; if so, the theory receives further support.
  12. 12. Theory as a framework for explaining phenomena • If enough of our hypotheses support a theory, we regard it as more useful in understanding why people act in a certain way; if those hypotheses do not support the theory, we need to revise or abandon the theory. When we conduct research, we should have an open mind about an issue; we might have preconceived ideas of what to expect, but if we are wrong, we should be willing to change our beliefs. Scientists do not revise or abandon theories based on a single research study, but after enough evidence accumulates showing that a theory needs revision, then we work to determine what would constitute a better model of the behavior in question.
  13. 13. Variation in Theory in Qualitative Research (Creswell, 2009: 61-3) • Theory in qualitative research is used as a broad explanation for behavior and attitudes, and it may be complete with variables, constructs, and hypotheses. • Secondly, researchers increasingly use a theoretical lens or perspective in qualitative research, which provides an overall orienting lens for the study of questions of gender, class, and race (or other issues of marginalized groups).
  14. 14. Variation in Theory in Qualitative Research (Creswell, 2009: 61-3) • Cont’d, this lens becomes an advocacy perspective that shapes the types of questions asked, informs how data are collected and analyzed, and provides a call for action or change.
  15. 15. Variation in Theory in Qualitative Research (Creswell, 2009: 61-3) • Qualitative research also indicates how the researcher positions himself or herself in the qualitative study (e.g., up front or biased from personal, cultural, and historical contexts) and how the final written accounts need to be written (e.g., without further marginalizing individuals, by collaborating with participants).
  16. 16. Some Qualitative Theoretical Perspectives • Feminist perspectives • Racialized discourses • Critical theory • Queer theory • Disability inquiry
  17. 17. A sense of theory as critical and postmodern perspectives in qualitative inquiry • As the 20th century draws to a close, traditional social science has come under increasing scrutiny and attack as those espousing critical and postmodern perspectives challenge objectivist assumptions and traditional norms for the conduct of research. Central to this attack are four interrelated notions: (a) Research fundamentally involves issues of power: (b) the research report is not transparent but rather it is authored by a raced, gendered, classed, and politically oriented individual: (c) race, class, and gender are crucial for understanding experience: and (d) historical, traditional research has silenced members of oppressed and marginalized groups (Rossman and Rallis, 1998: 66).
  18. 18. Afrocentric method • The Afrocentric method considers that no phenomena can be apprehended adequately without locating it first. A phenom must be studied and analyzed in relationship to psychological time and space. It must always be located. This is the only way to investigate the complex interrelationships of science and art, design and execution, creation and maintenance, generation and tradition, and other areas bypassed by theory.
  19. 19. Afrocentric method • The Afrocentric method considers phenomena to be diverse, dynamic, and in motion and therefore it is necessary for a person to accurately note and record the location of phenomena even in the midst of fluctuations. This means that the investigator must know where he or she is standing in the process.
  20. 20. Afrocentric method • The Afrocentric method is a form of cultural criticism that examines etymological uses of words and terms in order to know the source of an author’s location. This allows us to intersect ideas with actions and actions with ideas on the basis of what is pejorative and ineffective and what is creative and transformative at the political and economic levels.
  21. 21. Afrocentric method • The Afrocentric method seeks to uncover the masks behind the rhetoric of power, privilege, and position in order to establish how principal myths create place. The method enthrones critical reflection that reveals the perception of monolithic power as nothing but the projection of a cadre of adventurers.
  22. 22. Afrocentric method • The Afrocentric method locates the imaginative structure of a system of economics, bureau of politics, policy of government, expression of cultural form in the attitude, direction, and language of the phenom, be it text, institution, personality, interaction, or event
  23. 23. Pattern Theory • Pattern theory does not emphasize logical deductive reasoning. Like causal theory, it contains an interconnected set of concepts and relationships, but it does not require causal statements. Instead, pattern theory uses metaphor or analogies so that relationship “makes sense.” Pattern theories are systems of ideas that inform. The concepts and relations within them form a mutually reinforcing, closed system. They specify a sequence of phases or link parts to a whole (Neuman, 2000: 38).
  24. 24. Pattern Theory • African myths would be an example of pattern theory in the ancient world.
  25. 25. Fallacies in Argumentation
  26. 26. Bibliography and Resources • Bernard C. Beins & Maureen A. McCarthy. (2012). Research Methods and Statistics. Pearson Higher Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, NJ. • Christopher W. Tindale. (2007). Fallacies and Argument Appraisal: Critical Reasoning and Argumentation. Cambridge University Press. London. • Hassimi Oumarou Maiga. (2010). Balancing Written History with Oral Tradition: The Legacy of the Songhoy People. Routledge. New York, NY. • John E. Philips (Ed). (2005). Writing African History. University of Rochester Press. Rochester, NY. • John W. Creswell. (2009). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. SAGE Publishing, Inc. Thousand Oaks, CA.
  27. 27. Bibliography and Resources • Queeneth MKABELA. "Using the Afrocentric Method in Researching Indigenous African Culture" in The Qualitative Report, Vol. 10, No. 1, March 2005, pp. 178-189. Retrieved May 27, 2013, from • Molefi Kete Asante “Afrocentricity” : (retrieved May 26, 2013) • Molefi Kete Asante. (1998). The Afrocentric Idea. Temple University Press. Philadelphia, PA. • Molefi Kete Asante. (1988). Afrocentricity. Africa World Press, Inc. Trenton, NJ.
  28. 28. Understanding Research Methods Course • FREE class, starting in June 2014 thods • Our course enables students to develop their understanding of research methods, and confidence in designing a research project, choosing and executing appropriate methods, and assessing its intellectual/academic rigour.