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It is these thought objects of theirs brynan determine their behaviour by motivating it. She finds that noted functionalists do not seem to have been especially predisposed to the survey technique and that, vice versa, survey researchers have not necessarily been strongly influenced by functionalism. The idealized model implied by Figure 2.

In one particularly notable study Halpin and Winer,questions i.

Any observed differences between the two groups is deemed to be due to the independent variable alone, since the two groups are identical in all other aspects. He argued that the real phenomenological approach has to be abandoned in the gesearch of the social world, since we always start out by accepting the existence of that world Schutz,p. Ethnomethodologists also produced examples of quali- quantihy research, in which they made substantial use of participant obser- vation, unstructured interviewing, and the like.

Unstructured interviewing in qualitative research, then, departs from survey interviewing not only in terms of format, but also in terms of its concern for the perspective of those being investigated. Hypotheses, when constructed, are often not derived from a theory as such but from a body of literature relating to a concept.

In fact, concepts provide a qualitt focus for much social science research but they are only loosely or tangentially related to theoretical considerations. An example of the latter would be the selec- tion of Luton as the test site for the embourgeoisement thesis because the investigators wanted a setting that was as favourable as possible to it Goldthorpe et al.

Why treat positivism as the central focus of a discussion of the nature of science, and why not give much more space to apparently more accurate accounts? The approach to the measurement brymwn concepts used in the Aston Studies, and also quantitu by Lazarsfeld, is rigorous and system- atic.

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Quantity and quality in social research – Alan Bryman – Google Books

Adler portrays the drug dealers she studied as hedo- nistic: Similarly, in order to operationalize formalization, respon- dents were asked about such things as whether their firms used infor- mation booklets, job descriptions, written policies, and so on. In addition to participant observation and unstructured interviewing, the life history method is often depicted as a major method qaulity qualita- tive research.

It is the task of ethogenics to elucidate the underlying struc- tures of such episodes by investigating the meanings actors bring to the constituent acts. It is probably the case that social scientists tend to be more concerned about the reliabil- ity than the validity of their measures.


Quantity and Quality in Social Research

But in style and approach to social research they are very different. This account is, of course, a somewhat idealized account of the research process offered by many writers and is particularly prevalent in text- books on social research methods.

First and foremost, it almost certainly overstates the centrality of theory in sociall quantitative research.

Perhaps for this reason, qualitative research, which is frequently based on the study of one or two single cases, is an disparaged by researchers in the quantitative tradition, for the cases may be unrepre- sentative and therefore of unknown generality.

In a sense this is hardly surprising since it is typically depicted as the study of the individual. By and large, qualita- tive researchers favour an approach in which the formulation and test- ing of theories and concepts proceeds in tandem with data collection.

A battery of indicators of a particu- lar concept is often developed with little if any consideration of the underlying dimensions to that concept. The main intellectual undercurrents which tend to be viewed as providing qualitative research with its distinct epistemology are: Further, the doctrine of operationalism implies that concepts for which opera- tional definitions cannot be devised should have little or no place in the subsequent development of scientific theories in a particular field of inquiry.

Symbolic interac- tionists view social life as an unfolding process in which the individual interprets his or her environment and acts on the basis of that interpreta- tion.


Such critics argued that the social world comes to be seen as separate from the individuals who are demonstrably instrumental in its creation. The data allow the researcher to establish whether there are associations among the various variables that are reflected in the questionnaire.

The connection between positivism and the other root preoccupa- tions of quantitative research is more problematic, however. The use of interviews and questionnaires may also enhance the scope and breadth of the participant observation research.

Laboratory experiments, which are especially prominent in social psy- chology, pose particular problems in regard to generalization and as a consequence greatly exercise their proponents.

If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? Indeed, in some respects constraints inher- ent in the culture and ethos of the school militated against drastic changes in the organization of learning in the classroom. Read more Read less.

I also wish to thank Richard Jenkins for a personal communica- tion relating to his research on Belfast youth. There has, of course, always been an awareness of the differences between the nature of, for example, the social survey and participant observa- tion. Thus theory expresses and reflects the accumulated findings of empirical research. There is a clear connection between this undertaking and the underlying philo- sophical positions outlined in the previous section.

However, although this view of the research process is commonly encountered in accounts of the logic of quantitative research, it has a number of defects. Phenomenological ideas had little influence on the social sciences until the writings of Alfred Schutz a major interpreter of the work of Husserl and other phenomenologists after the Second World War came to notice following their translation from German in the s.

In the field of organization studies, for example, Freeman has commented on the tendency to obtain samples opportunistically rather than according to random sampling procedures.