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Such discussion tends to revolve around the two main approaches to the generation of causality—those associated with experimental and cross-sectional social survey research designs. Blalock, ; Davis,in spite of the fact that researcu investigations are generally thought to be primarily geared to the establishment of simple associations and corre- lations among variables.

In Chapter 5 the contrasts between them will be the main focus. In passing, departures from the textbook approach to the measurement of concepts allan been mentioned.

Any observed differences between the two groups is deemed to be due to the independent variable alone, since the two groups are identical in all other aspects. The thought objects constructed by the social scientist, in order to grasp this social reality, have to be founded upon the thought objects con- structed by the common-sense thinking of men, living their daily life within the social world.

In addition, qualiity example draws atten- tion to the possibility that inferring a causal order from cross- sectional research may be highly misleading. Even when they share apparently similar positions, they are not necessarily in accord over brymzn issues.

Quantity and Quality in Social Research: Alan Bryman: : Books

Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands. In fact, it is difficult to sustain such a connection. Clearly, within the domain quantith the social sciences, in which moral or politi- cal predispositions may exert a greater influence than in the natural sciences, this aspect of positivism has special relevance.

Here, then, is a concept. This representation was deemed to arise as a consequence of the treat- ment by quantitative researchers, by virtue of the influence of posi- tivism on their approach, of social reality as if it were identical to the natural order. In fact, they vary quite consider- ably in this respect. Thirdly, the importance accorded the rule of phe- nomenalism implies that observations are the final arbiters of theoreti- cal disputes, and therefore generates a view which substantially rele- gates theoretical reasoning to a relatively minor role Alexander, This gives rise to doubt as to whether the phenomenological reduction is a feasible first step in the analysis of social reality.


Quantity and Quality in Social Research

Causality Quantitative research is often highly preoccupied with establishing the causal relationships between concepts. Phenomenology The study of phenomenology is a vast field which can be addressed here only in a highly summarized form and with specific relevance to the topic of qualitative research.

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This view involves a conviction that alzn fact that the objects of the social sciences—people—think, have feelings, communicate through language and otherwise, attribute meaning to their envi- ronment, and superficially appear to be uniquely different from one another in terms of their beliefs and personal characteristics— qualities not normally held to describe the objects of the natural scientist—is not an obstacle to the implementation of the scientific method.

Socal published in Similarly, in his participant observation study of a comprehensive school, Ball was interested in the way in which a major innova- tion—the introduction of mixed-ability groupings—was implemented. The resulting findings then feed back into, and are absorbed by, the theory that set the whole andd going in the first place. These qulaity feed into the theoretical edifice pertaining to a particular domain of knowledge.

Diversity of perspective within these three groups may also be expected. This preoccupation led him to view the constructs that people use in order to render the world meaningful and intelligible to them as the key focus of a phenomenologically grounded social science.

The problem, then, is to demonstrate whether the concept actually exists and to classify people, organizations, or whatever, in relation to it.

Rdsearch consider- ations are given lip-service rather than constituting major foci in their own right in much research.

Irrespective of whether the research problem is closely defined, qual- itative researchers tend to the view that the predominantly open approach which they adopt in the examination of social phenomena allows socia, access to unexpectedly important topics which may not have been visible to them had they foreclosed the domain of study by a structured, qkantity hence potentially rigid, strategy.

Keat and Urry, The widespread use of factor analysis in the social sciences exemplifies this point. This creates the illusion that reli- ability is more important, and allows measures to be evaluated mainly in terms of this criterion.


So too has the view of writers sub- scribing to the doctrine of positivism about which more will be said below that the natural sciences provide a standard against which knowledge should be gauged and that there is no logical reason why its procedures should not be equally applicable to the study of society. In the next chapter, the arguments against this view of the generalizability of case study research, which have been proffered by a number of writers e.

On the face of it, such experi- ments would seem to solve the difficulties associated with research in the laboratory, but they bring other problems in their wake. Our interest…lies in the principles employed by the pupils themselves to fit the actions they describe into a meaningful framework.

Indeed, a number of writers have proposed alternative terms. Indeed, some of the intellectual currents with which it is often associated e. The establishment of a temporal order is not an arbitrary process: Textbooks tend to give the two issues equal attention, but researchers seem more inclined to report that reliability tests have been carried out.

Thus in fol- lowing the widely held convention of regarding quantitative research as founded on positivism one is presumably subscribing to the view that the former reflects the aims and tenets of the latter. There is a veritable artillery of procedures and techniques which can be deployed to investigate this issue. They are both about deviance and purely by chance both were carried out in California and reflect sociological concerns. In the end, Hirschi finds that none of the three theories of delin- quency emerges totally unscathed from the empirical interrogation to which they were submitted.

This predilection is evident in an earlier work, in which he expressed his preference for quantitative research: The concern to establish causal connections between variables can be discerned in the widespread preoccupation among many survey researchers with the development of methods for imput- ing cause-and-effect relationships e. However, there is a hint in this discussion that it is an orientation which entails certain difficulties, which will be examined in greater detail in the next chapter.