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Download Understanding Social Research: Perspectives on Methodology by George McKenzie, Jane Powell, Robin Usher PDF

By George McKenzie, Jane Powell, Robin Usher

In 1991 the commercial and Social examine Council (ESRC) released "Postgraduate Taining Guidelines". in the course of the record emphasis is put on the necessity for universities to make postgraduate examine scholars conscious of the methodological matters that impact their work.; this article explores the connection among wisdom, method and study perform around the large spectrum of the social sciences in langage that's available to researchers in any respect degrees in their examine careers. It follows the topics that there's no unmarried perform or right method, and that the range and diversity when it comes to method and disciplinary concentration are an indication of the sophistication and complexity of the proceses of social learn. The textual content examines socio-cultural contexts of social examine and relates them to modern shifts in concentration comparable to feminism, serious idea and postmodernism. the significance of choosing the examine method greatest to the topic self-discipline involved is emphasised.

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Additional info for Understanding Social Research: Perspectives on Methodology and Practice (Social Research and Educational Studies Series)

Example text

If instead we see research as a social practice we are better able to recognize that it is not a universal process of applying a set of general methods or of following an algorithmic procedure. Rather methods and procedures are themselves a function of the knowledgecommunity’s practice, its ‘culture’, its networks of implicit beliefs and pre-suppositions, whose rules, boundaries and exclusions, no matter how flexible, legitimate and sanction certain kinds of activity and exclude others. Consider for a moment one of the effects of a practice’s exclusions.

146) These traces, the ‘tissue of quotations’ are citations that although not physically present are present as ‘absences’. They speak through the text in an endless referability and are potent in their effects even though they are not spoken about in the text. Intertextuality means first, that texts have a referability, they can be cited authoritatively without the ‘presence’ of their author. Secondly, it means that texts are productive in the sense that they both transform prior texts (texts can be ‘re-read’ through new texts) and make possible new texts (a text can only be written if there is a culture of writing and discourses which ‘reveal’ a world to be researched).

Postmodernism therefore questions epistemology’s dominant positivist/empiricist conception of scientific knowledge which traditionally sets the standard and provides the model for all knowledge claiming to be scientific. In particular, it challenges the leading assumptions of the positivist/empiricist research tradition that: • • • • • observation is value-neutral and atheoretical, experience is a ‘given’, a univocal and transparent language is possible, data is independent of its interpretations, and there are universal conditions of knowledge and criteria for deciding between theories.

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