Positionality: Research and Social World

Topics: Research, Quantitative research, Scientific method Pages: 9 (2683 words) Published: September 1, 2008

Before joining my Masters in Business administration, I have done few researches at my working places, not knowing that there are some many methods, approaches, etc. Thanks to Dr. Stephen Sommerville, for teaching me to do research in the professional way. Let my first research be the critical review of my own positionality i.e. who am I to me and in the others point of view? Does my positionality affect the research works I took or will take?

Sitting back and thinking about the research that I have done in the past, I can say that the positionality had some impact on my research.

In this paper let us see how ….

Literature Review:

First of all what does this word research means?
Let us quickly see about the research just to get a brief idea about it before moving into our main topic positionality.

Research is study to identify the in depth meaning of any subject or theories by probing deep into it and argue with relevant fact and figures. Research according to author S. Sarantakos is “they are usually employed for the purpose of gaining knowledge that will advance our understanding of the social world. It may also help in rejecting or supporting existing theories about the social world”. [1]

Basically there are two forms of research namely primary research and secondary research. If you are using an accepted methodology for collecting facts and data’s it means primary research. There are three methods for primary research they are Survey method, Experimental method and Ethnographic method whereas secondary research means collections of data’s or facts from an existing resource. As Veal, A.J (1997) says that “secondary research is a research which is been done before were the data already exist, were the data might have collected to some other primary research but which might be used for the current research”.[2]

There are two important methods of research namely quantitative methods and qualitative methods. The output of the research depends upon the method a researcher chooses. Quantitative methods mainly rely upon the data’s or facts collected from experiments or observations, they need unbiased samples whereas qualitative methods rely upon the interpretation of existing data's or facts.

Next coming to approaches, there are six paradigms or approaches namely positivist approach, interpretivist approach, Empiricist approach, Rationalist approach, Reductionist approach and Constructivist approach. In this paper, I will be focusing on positivist and interpretivist approaches in detail as they are more related to the topic which we will be discussing in this research paper.

Before defining positivist, positivism is the method of gathering or believing results through a repetitive analytical and scientific approach. The research of positivism obtained through traditional way. They are quantitative. According to the authors Boris Blumberg, Donald Cooper, Pamela Schindler “Positivism is a research philosophy adopted from the natural sciences. Its three basic principles are,

1)The social world exists externally and is viewed objectively 2)Research is value-free.
3)The researcher is independent, taking the role of an objective analyst.” [3]
Now defining Positivist, he is person who follows the positivism method. Positivist is the person who believes in repeated analysis and experiments. Positivist believes that science is the tool to derive at truth and that it can help in understanding the world better so as to predict and control it.

The authors Boris Blumberg, Donald Cooper, Pamela Schindler in their article say “Positivism implies the following assumptions.

■ The social world is observed by collecting objective facts. ■ The social world consists of simple elements to which it can be reduced.[3]

Positivists observe in a single dimension, this usually results in explanation from that point of view and will be avoiding the other areas which are very...
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