Naturalsocial world are social products whose meaning

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natural/social world are social products whose meaning is constructed in and through social interaction - E.g. “masculinity” is treated as a social construction – it is not a distinct, timeless, universal entity, rather it is something that is built through interaction - This tendency can be seen well in discourse analysis Ontology’s Relationship to Social Research Ontological assumptions and commitments affect the way research questions are formulated and the way research is carried out E.g. a researcher who sees organizations as objective social entities that act on individuals is likely to emphasize their formal properties. Alternatively, a researcher who is interested in the negotiated, changing nature of organizations is likely to focus on the active involvement of people in reality construction. GENERAL RESEARCH ORIENTATIONS: QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE RESEARCH Quantitative – uses numbers and statistics in collection and analysis of data Qualitative – uses mainly words and other non-numerical symbols 7
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Quantitative relies more of formal and mathematical measurements and analysis techniques than qualitative researchers do Other than that, quantitative and qualitative research differs in its epistemological foundations and in other respects too When we look at the relationship between theory and research, epistemological considerations, and ontological issues – we can see qualitative and quantitative research as forming two distinctive general orientations to the conduct of social research SUMMARY Quantitative research : Usually entails a deductive approach to the relationship between theory and research in which theory testing is prime objective Incorporates the practice and norms of natural science model and of positivism in particular Generally embodies a view of society as an external, objective reality Qualitative research : Takes an inductive approach to the relationship between theory and research, in which generation of theories and interpretations is the main goal Rejects the use of the natural science and positivist models in social research and replaces them with methodologies that seek to determine how individuals interpret their social world Embodies a view of social reality as a constantly shifting and emergent property of individuals’ creations Although quantitative research tends to be deductive and qualitative tends to be inductive; there are exceptions to this general rule. Studies that have the broad characteristics of one research strategy may also have some of the characteristics of the other INFLUENCES ON THE CONDUCT OF SOCIAL RESEARCH Social research is influenced by many factors Practical Considerations Theory Epistemology SOCIAL RESEARCH Values Ontology Politics Values One would expect social scientists to be completely value-free and objective in their studies 8
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Research that reflects the personal views of its practitioners would be biased and
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