Research Methodology Essay

4337 Words Apr 19th, 2010 18 Pages
“The study of man contains a greater variety of intellectual styles than any other area of cultural endeavor. How different social scientists go about their work, and what they aim t accomplish by it, often do not seem to have a common denominator ... Let us admit the case of our critics from the humanities and from the experimental sciences: Social science as a whole is both intellectually and morally confused. And what is called sociology is very much in the middle of this confusion.”
Wright Mills
Images of Man

The quest for knowledge has always been at the forefront of societies mind. What makes us tick as a society or an individual, what circumstances have to come about to lead to different phenomena to occur?
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Ethnography (Greek ἔθνος ethnos = folk/people and γράφειν graphein = writing) is a qualitative research method often used in the social sciences, particularly in anthropology and in sociology. It is often employed for gathering empirical data on human societies/cultures. Data collection is often done through participant observation, interviews, questionnaires, etc. Ethnography aims to describe the nature of those who are studied (i.e. to describe a people, an ethnos) through writing. In the biological sciences, this type of study might be called a "field study" or a "case report," both of which are used as common synonyms for "ethnography.

Lee states that the difference between positivist and interpretive approaches has been described as objective versus subjective (Burrell and Morgan 1979), outsider versus insider (Evered and Louis 1981), quantitive versus qualitive (Van Mannen 1979) and etic versus emic (Morey and Luthans 1984). In literature it may seem that these 2 methods of research are opposed and irreconcilable and there is some concern over what Morey and Luthans call the “widening gap between the two major orientations to organizational research” (1984, 84). Lee puts forward the idea of joining the two methodologies

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