The whole point of conducting research is to investigate, explore and aid in the development of theory about how the social world works. Social researchers use different tools to investigate their research, these tools are not value free and they imply a certain understanding of the world.
I will be critically evaluating these research tools in this essay because there is a range of considerations to take into account when choosing a research tool.
Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of knowledge. It talks about variety of knowledge.
Ontology is the branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of being. What it means to be and live in the world because there is a difference between how people behave and how they think they behave in the world.
Epistemology looks at what knowledge is and there are two broad approaches within epistemology:
When choosing what method of research you are going to take you must first ask yourself if the social world is a suitable subject of study by the natural science model?
Science in the natural world explains, predicts and controls. Scientists believe that by fully understanding a phenomenon we find out facts and so control it. The function of science implies a particular understanding of knowledge called positivism.
Positivism is the epistemological position that advocates the application of the methods of the natural sciences to the study of the social reality. It's observing and recording empirical data. (Class Notes 2005)
Positivism developed in the mid-nineteenth century when they wanted to be seen as scientists.
Positivists begin by asserting that investigating the social and cultural world is no different in principle to investigating the natural world and that the same basic procedures apply to both. From this it follows that, as in the natural sciences, the only admissible... [continues]
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