Compare And Contrast Burrell And Morgan's Sociological Paradigms

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The basic tenants of Burrell and Morgan’s sociological paradigms are relevant and closely adapted by Hassard and Cox, thus an explanation is required. Burrell and Morgan called assumptions about the nature of science the subjective-objective dimension. Four sets of assumptions concerning ontology, epistemology, human nature, and methodology characterize the two broad and somewhat polarized perspectives.
Of an ontological nature, nominalism and realism are debated. A nominalist position assumes that the social world external to individual cognition is made up of nothing more than names, concepts and labels used to structure reality, while a realist position assumes that the social world external to individual cognition is real, and made up
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Burrell and Morgan use positivist to characterize epistemologies which seek to explain the social world by searching for patterns and casual relationships; it is in essence based upon the traditional approaches found in the natural sciences. Some positivists differ in approach. Some may claim that hypothesized regularities either need to be verified, or falsified with an adequate experimental research approach. Regardless, both groups accept the growth of knowledge as an essentially cumulative process. Anti-positivism, (defined by Hassard and Cox as “constructionist”) on the other hand, is set against the search for laws or underlying regularities in the social world. This position assumes that the social world is essentially relativistic and can only be understood from the point of view of the individuals involved directly with the studied activities. Anti-positivists hold that by occupying the frame of reference of the participant in action understanding can be acquired. This position rejects the idea that science can create objective knowledge (Burrell & Morgan, …show more content…
Ideographic assumptions (defined by Hassard and Cox as “interpretive”) of social science hold that understanding the social world can only be obtained through first-hand knowledge of the subject being studied. A nomothetic assumption (defined by Hassard and Cox as “deductive”) emphasizes systematic protocol and technique in research, being preoccupied with using approaches and methods often found in the natural sciences.
These four strands of debate create the subjective-objective dimension of assumptions regarding the nature of social science. The extreme positions of each of the four strands reflect the two traditional perspectives that have dominated social science for over 200 years (Burrell & Morgan, 1979). A subjective approach to social science will typically hold a nominalist ontology, an anti- positivist (or constructionist) epistemology, a voluntarist view of human nature, and utilize an ideographic (or interpretive)

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