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KEY PISTEMOLOGICAL STANCES

24/03/2018    hoangthuphuong   PHD Journey

Positivism

• the world is independent of and unaffected by the researcher
• facts and values are distinct, thus making it possible to conduct objective, value free inquiry
• observations are the final arbiter in theoretical disputes
• the methods of the natural sciences (e.g. hypothesis testing, causal explanations and modelling) are appropriate for the study of social phenomena because human behaviour is governed by law-like regularities 

Interpretivism
• the researcher and the social world impact on each other
• facts and values are not distinct and findings are inevitably influenced by the researcher's perspective and values, thus making it impossible to conduct objective, value free research, although the researcher can declare and be transparent about his or her assumptions
• the methods of the natural sciences are not appropriate because the social world is not governed by law-like regularities but is mediated through meaning and human agency; consequently the social researcher is concerned to explore and understand the social world using both the participant's and the researcher's understanding 

Ritchie, J., Lewis, J., Nicholls, C. M., & Ormston, R. (Eds.). (2013). Qualitative research practice: A guide for social science students and researchers. Sage.

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