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Positivism and Interpretivism in Social Research – ReviseSociology

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Positivism and Interpretivism in Social Research

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Positivism and Interpretivism in Social Research

2/8/2019

Positivism and Interpretivism in Social Research – ReviseSociology

and Interpretivism in Social Research – ReviseSociology Positivism and Interpretivism are the two basic approaches

Positivism and Interpretivism are the two basic approaches to research methods in Sociology. Positivist prefer scientific quantitative methods, while Interpretivists prefer humanistic qualitative methods. This post provides a very brief overview of the two.

2/8/2019

Positivism and Interpretivism in Social Research – ReviseSociology

and Interpretivism in Social Research – ReviseSociology Positivism Positivists prefer quantitative methods such as

Positivism

Positivists prefer quantitative methods such as social surveys, structured questionnaires and Positivists prefer quantitative methods such as social surveys, structured questionnaires and

o icial statistics because these have good reliability and representativeness.

Positivists see society as shaping the individual and believe that ‘social facts’ shape individual action.because these have good reliability and representativeness. The positivist tradition stresses the importance of doing

The positivist tradition stresses the importance of doing quantitative research such as large scale surveys in order to get an overview of society as a whole and to uncover social trends, such as the relationship between educational achievement and social class. This type of sociology is more interested in trends and patterns rather than individuals.and believe that ‘social facts’ shape individual action. Positivists also believe that sociology can and should

Positivists also believe that sociology can and should use the same methods and approaches to study the social world that “natural” sciences such as biology and physics use to investigate the physical world. By adopting “scientific” techniques sociologists should be able, eventually, to uncover the laws that govern societies just as scientists have discovered the laws that govern the physical world.interested in trends and patterns rather than individuals. In positivist research, sociologists tend to look for

In positivist research, sociologists tend to look for relationships, or ‘correlations’ between two orhave discovered the laws that govern the physical world. more variables. This is kno  wn

2/8/2019

Positivism and Interpretivism in Social Research – ReviseSociology

and Interpretivism in Social Research – ReviseSociology Interpretivism An Interpretivist approach to social research
and Interpretivism in Social Research – ReviseSociology Interpretivism An Interpretivist approach to social research
and Interpretivism in Social Research – ReviseSociology Interpretivism An Interpretivist approach to social research

Interpretivism

An Interpretivist approach to social research would be much more qualitative, using methods such as unstructured interviews or participant observationin Social Research – ReviseSociology Interpretivism Interpretivists , or anti-positivists argue that

Interpretivists, or anti-positivists argue that individuals are not just puppets who react to external social , or anti-positivists argue that individuals are not just puppets who react to external social forces as Positivists believe.

According to Interpretivists individuals are intricate and complex and di erent people experience and understand the same ‘objective reality’ in very di erent ways and erent people experience and understand the same ‘objective reality’ in very di erent ways and have their own, o en very di erent, reasons for acting in the world, thus scientific methods are not appropriate.

Intepretivist research methods derive from ‘social action theory ‘ social action theory

Intereptivists actually criticise ‘scientific sociology’ (Positivism) because many of the statistics it relies on are themselves socially constructed.research methods derive from ‘ social action theory ‘ Interpretivists argue that in order to understand

Interpretivists argue that in order to understand human action we need to achieve ‘Verstehen‘, or empathetic understanding – we need to see the world through the eyes of the actors doing the acting.statistics it relies on are themselves socially constructed. Positivism and Interpretivism Summary Grid  0 

Positivism and Interpretivism Summary Grid

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Positivism and Interpretivism in Social Research – ReviseSociology

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Positivism and Interpretivism in Social Research – ReviseSociology

and Interpretivism in Social Research – ReviseSociology Theory and Methods A Level Sociology Revision Bundle If
and Interpretivism in Social Research – ReviseSociology Theory and Methods A Level Sociology Revision Bundle If
and Interpretivism in Social Research – ReviseSociology Theory and Methods A Level Sociology Revision Bundle If

Theory and Methods A Level Sociology Revision Bundle

Contents include:

pages of revision notesof A level sociology papers 1 and 3. Contents include: mind maps on various topics within

mind maps on various topics within theory and methodspapers 1 and 3. Contents include: pages of revision notes Five theory and methods essays ‘How

Five theory and methods essaysnotes mind maps on various topics within theory and methods ‘How to write methods in context

‘How to write methods in context essays’.within theory and methods Five theory and methods essays 74 15 Related Posts Links to more

74

15

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to write methods in context essays’. 74 15 Related Posts Links to more detailed posts on

Links to more detailed posts on Positivism and Social Action Theory are embedded in the text above. Other posts you might like include:

Links to all of my research methods posts can be found at my main research methods page.

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Positivism and Interpretivism in Social Research – ReviseSociology

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1 thought on “Positivism and Interpretivism in Social Research”

lahiru

January 3, 2017

It’s better to explain with example,but this explanation is very good.thnks…

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