Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Methodologies in social science

14 views

Published on

My interpretation of several qualitative enquiry frameworks in social science research. This looks at several methodological approaches.

DISCLAIMER: This is complex stuff and this is only my interpretation!

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Methodologies in social science

  1. 1. Methodologies in social science Lee Fallin Library Skills Adviser, Brynmor Jones Library Educational Doctorate Candidate, The Department of Education Studies DISCLAIMER: This is all based on my interpretations and this is complex stuff! 
  2. 2. Methodology “Broadly speaking, the study of research methods extending from broad issues relating to epistemology, through the theoretical principles underpinning particular methods, to specific procedures for conducting research” (2016)
  3. 3. Context Ontology Epistemology Methodology Methods
  4. 4. Ontology (worldview) Epistemology Methodology Methods (instruments) The question What is the nature of reality? (What is out there to know) What is the nature of knowledge? (What (and how) can we know about it?) How do we acquire this knowledge? We precise method do we use to acquire this knowledge? Adapted from: Lincoln, Lynham & Guba (2011), CHEPSAA (2015) Example of diversity of approaches (location is irrelevant) Objectivism Exists independent of the researcher Positivism Truth to be discovered Deductive General to specific Quantitative Interpretation of quantifiables Constructivism Phenomena are constructed by researchers Interpretivism ‘truth’ is socially constructed Inductive Observations to theory Qualitative Empirical (derived from experience rather than by logic)
  5. 5. Where do we situate ourselves?
  6. 6. Ontological landscape
  7. 7. Positivism Post-positivism Critical Interpretivism Postmodern Ontology Single reality. Single truth that can be measured Single reality. May not be able to fully measure (hidden variables) Human nature operates in a world of power struggles Realities exist in the form of multiple mental realities (social) Subjective- objective reality co-created by mind and society Epistemology Total objectivity We interpret to the best of our ability but fallible Driven by structures of power and control People construct their own understandings What is reality? Truth is interpretation Methodology Scientific method Results are true until disproved Studies must be replicable Scientific method Results best approximation based on what we know about reality Distance researcher to gain objectivity (but acknowledge this) Participatory Empower the oppressed Action research, transformative and empowering Interpretive Dialogue between participants and researchers to construct a meaningful reality Discussion, disagreement and consensus Collaborative enquiry and deconstruction Engage together in democratic dialogue Adapted from: Lincoln, Lynham & Guba (2011)
  8. 8. Positivism Post-positivism Critical Interpretivism Postmodern Ontology Single reality. Single truth that can be measured Single reality. May not be able to fully measure (hidden variables) Human nature operates in a world of power struggles Realities exist in the form of multiple mental realities (social) Subjective- objective reality co-created by mind and society Epistemology Total objectivity We interpret to the best of our ability but fallible Driven by structures of power and control People construct their own understandings What is reality? Truth is interpretation Adapted from: Lincoln, Lynham & Guba (2011) This all has a profound impact on the language we use!
  9. 9. Qualitative enquiry frameworks Methodology is a constructive framework that outlines the way your research will be undertaken.
  10. 10. Ethnography Regarded as the activity of describing a culture, and ethnology, which is the historical-geographical study of peoples or cultures that involves classifications, comparisons, and explanations of cultural differences Roots in: Anthropology (Schwandt, 2007)
  11. 11. (Patton, 2015) Ethnography core questions: • What is the culture of this group of people? • How does it explain their perspectives and behaviours?
  12. 12. Autoethnography Uniting ethnographic (looking outward at a world beyond one's own) and autobiographical (gazing inward for a story of one's self) intentions. The aim in composing an autoethnographic account is to keep both the subject (knower) and object (that which is being examined) in simultaneous view Roots in: Literary arts (Schwandt, 2007)
  13. 13. Autoethnography core question: • How does my own experience of my culture offer insights about my culture, situation, event or way of life? (Patton, 2015)
  14. 14. Grounded theory Any approach to developing theoretical ideas (concepts, models, formal theories) that begins with data. Experience with data generates insights, hypotheses, and generative questions Roots in: Social sciences (Schwandt, 2007)
  15. 15. Grounded theory core question: • What theory (grounded in fieldwork) emerges from systematic comparative analysis so as to explain what has been observed? (Patton, 2015)
  16. 16. Phenomenology Phenomenologists insist on careful description of ordinary conscious experience of everyday life: the lifeworld—a description of ‘things’ (phenomena or the essential structures of consciousness) as one experiences them. Roots in: Philosophy (Schwandt, 2007)
  17. 17. Phenomenology core question: • What is the meaning, structure and essence of the lived experience of this phenomenon for this person or group of people? (Patton, 2015)
  18. 18. Social constructionism Human beings do not find or discover knowledge so much as construct or make it. We invent concepts, models, and schemes to make sense of experience, and we continually test and modify these constructions in the light of new experience Roots in: Sociology (Schwandt, 2007)
  19. 19. Social constructionism core questions: • How have the people in this setting constructed their reality? • What is perceived as real? • What are the consequences of what is perceived as real? (Patton, 2015)
  20. 20. Narrative inquiry The study of the activities involved in generating and analyzing stories of life experiences (e.g., life histories, narrative interviews, journals, diaries, memoirs, autobiographies, and biographies) and reporting that kind of research Roots in: Social sciences Literary criticism (Schwandt, 2007)
  21. 21. Narrative enquiry core questions: • How can this story be interpreted to understand and illuminate the life and culture that created it? • What does this story reveal about the person and world it came from? (Patton, 2015)
  22. 22. Ethnomethodology Quite literally means the study of (‘ology’) the methods (‘method’) that people (‘ethno’) employ to make sense of the social world. Consequently, the main aim is to uncover the everyday practices through which people construct social reality and make sense of their own and other's activities. Roots in: Sociology (Miller & Brewer, 2003)
  23. 23. (Patton, 2015) Ethnomethodology core question: • How do people make sense of their everyday activities so as to behave in socially acceptable ways?
  24. 24. Semiotics The theory of signs or the theory investigating the relationship between knowledge and signs Roots in: Linguistics (Mariano, 2015; Schwandt, 2007)
  25. 25. (Patton, 2015) Semiotics core question: • What signs (words and symbols) carry and convey special meaning in particular contexts? • What are the implications of those signs for human beliefs, behaviours and interactions?
  26. 26. Hermeneutics Definition: Although there are many specific approaches, generally refers to interpreting the meaning of an object (a text, a work of art, social action, the utterances of another speaker, etc.) Roots in: Linguistics Philosophy Literary criticism (Schwandt, 2007)
  27. 27. (Patton, 2015) Hermeneutics core question: • What are the conditions and contexts under which a human act took place or a product was produced that makes it possible to interpret its meanings?
  28. 28. Pragmatism Definition: In pragmatism there are no a priori propositions or categories and no universal cognitive structures or mental models that shape knowledge. Rather than understand theory and action as two different activities and phenomena, pragmatism regards theories as tools or instruments in the human endeavour to cope with situations and events in life and to construct meaning by applying concepts in an experimental way Roots in: Philosophy Evaluation (Thorpe & Holt, 2008)
  29. 29. Pragmatism core question: • What are the practical consequences and useful applications of what we can learn about this issue or problem? (Patton, 2015)

×