Perspectives and methodologies 25 gray 2eresearch

This preview shows page 15 - 17 out of 28 pages.

PERSPECTIVES AND METHODOLOGIES 25 Gray 2e(Research)-3778-Ch-02:Gray 2e(Research)-3778-Ch-02.qxp 10/7/2008 5:20 PM Page 25
Image of page 15

Subscribe to view the full document.

FEMINISM Like Marxism and critical inquiry, feminist epistemologies take the view that what a person knows is largely determined by their social position. But whereas Marxism defines social class in terms of a person’s relationship to the means of production, feminism regards women themselves as an oppressed social class. Because men come from a position of dominance, their knowledge of the world is distorted. In contrast, women, being subject to domination, have a less dis- torted social experience that has the potential to produce less distorted knowl- edge claims (Williams and May, 1996). But what counts as knowledge is also challenged. Attempts at rational or objective approaches to research are seen as the remit of male researchers, reflecting and prioritizing male values. In contrast, women have access to a deeper reality through their personal experiences (of oppression), and through their feelings and emotions. POSTMODERNISM Postmodernism is far from being a unified system of thought and is sometimes used interchangeably with concepts such as deconstructionism and post-struc- turalism. Emerging from the disillusionment of French intellectuals with Marxism after the events of 1968, postmodernism was not just an attack on positivism, but on the entire historical agenda of modernity – and particularly Marxism (Delanty, 1997). Postmodernism rejects any notion of social ‘eman- cipation’, emphasizing instead multiplicity, ambiguity, ambivalence and frag- mentation. Whereas philosophers such as Habermas had seen fragmentation in negative terms and as a threat to communication, postmodernism views it quite positively as an opportunity for choice. Hence postmodern analysis often focuses on themes within advertising, lifestyles, fashion, subcultures and gender. In terms of research, the primary task becomes the deconstruction of texts to expose how values and interests are embedded within them (Williams and May, 1996). The focus becomes not one of how these texts describe the ‘real- ity’ of the world, but how the social world becomes represented, and how meanings are produced. Texts are therefore seen as social practices, embedded with multiple values and vested interests, not the reporting of independent, objective judgements. As we have seen, in contrast to other epistemologies, postmodernism stresses a becoming ontology. RESEARCH METHODOLOGIES We have examined, briefly, the significance of both epistemology and theoretical perspectives in research design. Let us now look at applying these in practice by 26 PRINCIPLES AND PLANNING FOR RESEARCH Gray 2e(Research)-3778-Ch-02:Gray 2e(Research)-3778-Ch-02.qxp 10/7/2008 5:20 PM Page 26
Image of page 16
exploring some of the alternative research methodologies. The choice of research methodology is determined by a combination of several factors – for example, whether the researcher believes that there is some sort of external ‘truth’ out
Image of page 17
You've reached the end of this preview.
  • Two '18
  • ECA
  • researcher, NG F O R R ES EA R

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern