Essay on Positivism vs Interpretivism

1589 Words Apr 15th, 2013 7 Pages
Compare and contrast positivist and interpretive perspectives underpinning social research-
This essay intends to investigate by comparing and contrasting positivist and interpretive perspectives that surround social research. It will look into the use of methods such as quantitative and qualitative research and the effects and outcomes that this has in relation to social research. This will include the variations amongst them in both a positive and negative light.
Before research can be undertaken the researcher must investigate the various methodologies, methods, theoretical perspectives and philosophical bases which surrounds the research. This will then enable researchers to use a wide variety of research methods in order to enhance
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With the theoretical perspective of interpretivism views it focuses on the understanding that humans cannot have knowledge of the world independently by what is in their minds. This brings around the interpretivist research methodology which was to become a reaction against the claims of positivism. Interpretivism shapes the way it sees society to be a subjective view; Some of the clear to see contrasts between both of these two methodologies is that the positivist researcher is seen to assume a passive, objective; role during the collection of data whereas with interpretive research the process involves the inclusion of actively involving the process of data collection and analysis. With the positivist research this looks to take a shallow understanding and of the theory and increase the predictive understanding, whereas interpretive research intends to look further a field to understand the deeper structure of the research. (Payne, 2005) ‘Qualitative and Quantitative research share common ground. Both are concerned with reliability and study designs, and the approaches are similar’ (Taylor, 2005) A researcher looking into the views of interpretivism moves away from the views of positivism as it believes that the study of human behaviour and society can often give a negative reading to social research. This is due to the idea that humans can change the way that they behave and act if they believe that they are being

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