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Departement Sosiologie en Sosiale Antropologie Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology

S364 - Sosiale Navorsing (2013) S364 - Social Research (2013)

Lecture 2

Lesing 2

Social research strategies
Wednesday 24 July

Sosiale navorsingstrategieë
Woensdag 24 Julie

Dr Lloyd Hill lloydhill@sun.ac.za

Overview / Oorsig
• What is theory? • What is research?
– Role of “theory” – Ontological considerations – Epistemological considerations

• Wat is teorie? • Wat is navorsing?
– Rol van "teorie" – Ontologiese oorwegings – Epistemologiese oorwegings

• What is a research strategy?

• What is ’n navorsingstrategie?

both the Theory and practice are requisite. viewing. also a sight.. theory. speculation.. Hutton Math. as distinguished from the practice of it. (at cited word). or of its principles or methods. mental view/conception… … 'n uitsig/skouspel. the Theory is sufficient.. contemplation.. verstandelike siening/begrip ..” • 1795 C. & Philos. system of ideas or statements (stellings) Key distinction: ‘theory’ vs ‘practice’ (praktyk) “That department of an art or technical subject which consists in the knowledge or statement of the facts on which it depends. to be a master of it.” . “To be learned in an art.. &c. Dict.What is theory? Wat is teorie? • Etymology: Greek θεωρία a looking at.. a spectacle… [OED] – – – – … view/spectacle.

the most common sense of “research” • ‘Teorie’ as ‘bestaande kennis’ (bv in boeke) • ‘Teorie’ as formele verklaring van ‘waarneembare reëlmatighede’ • ‘teorie’ onderskei van ‘praktyk’ in die algemeen en in die besonder… • ‘praktyke’ verbonde met die ontwikkeling van ‘nuwe kennis’. i. dws dws die mees algemene gebruik van "navorsing" .e.Theory and research • ‘Theory’ as ‘existing knowledge’ (eg in books) • ‘Theory’ as formal explanation of ‘observed regularities’ • Distinguished from ‘practice’ in general and specifically… • Practices associated with generating ‘new knowledge’.

Groot teorieë .deduktief .inductive • Types of theory .Middle range theories (see below…) Hoof teoretiese kwessies in sosiale navorsingspraktyk: • Verwantskap tussen teorie en navorsing .deductive .Grand theories .Teorie en navorsing Key theoretical issues in Social research practice: • Relationship between theory and research .Middelrang teorieë (sien hieronder…) .induktief • Teorie soorte .

Relationship between theory & research • Inductive – data gathering & interpretation generates theory – inferences from observations – e.g. “grounded theory” (Glaser and Strauss) • Induktief – data-insameling en interpretasie genereer teorie – afleidings uit waarnemings – bv. “grounded theory” (Glaser and Strauss) • Deductive… • Deduktief… .

Relationship between theory & research • Deductive – theory formulation before data gathering – data used to test theory – e.g. explicit hypothesis to be confirmed or rejected • Deduktief – teorie stelling voor data insameling – data word gebruik om ’n teorie te toets – bv eksplisiete hipotese word bevestig of verwerp .

Hypothesis // Hipotese • Assuming a hypothetico-deductive (positivist?) model of science (epistemology)… • What is the etymology of “hypothesis”? – “hypo” + “thesis”… (of “hipo” + “tese”) – “less than”… “a theory” • So why is a hypothesis less than a theory? .

See Bryman. page 10 & 11 (3rd Ed.) .

Bourdieu se theory van sosiale kapitaal – middle range theories • limited domain (defended on grounds of ‘empirical evidence’) • e. labelling theory (Becker 1963) – Middelrang teorieë • beperkte domein (simboliese gebied) (verdedig op grond van ‘empiriese bewys’) • Bv.g. ‘labelling’ teorie (Becker 1963) – Observable regularities – Waarneembare reëlmatighede . Bourdieu’s theory of social capital – Groot teorieë • hoogs abstrak (teoretiese woordeskat en styl) • Bv.Teoriesoorte (Merton) – grand theories • highly abstract (theoretical vocabulary & style) • e.g.

Research issues • Why do we call this module ‘social research’? • Implicit distinction between ‘social’ and ‘natural’ (science) research – ‘Ontological’ and ‘epistemological’ issues… • Hoekom verwys ons na ‘sosiale navorsing’ (bv. Naam van module)? • Implisiete onderskeit tussen ‘sosiale’ en ‘natuurlike’ (wetenskap) navorsing – Ontologies en epistemologiese kwessies… .

“ontos” = “wese”) • ‘watter’ soorte objekte bestaan (…in die sosiale wêreld)? • Is daar ‘natuurlike’ (vs ‘sosiale’) objekte (of ‘klasse’ van objekte? Bv ‘tale’ & ‘spesies’) • Bestaan sosiale entiteite onafhanklik van ons persepsie daarvan? • Is sosiale realiteit buite sosiale rolspelers of word dit deur hulle gebou? .Ontological considerations • ‘Ontology’ (Gk. “ontos” = “being”) • ‘what’ kinds of objects exist (…in the social world)? • are there ‘natural’ (vs ‘social’) objects (or ‘classes’ of objects? • do social entities exist independently of our perceptions of them? • is social reality external to social actors or constructed by them? • ‘Ontologie’ (Gk.

culture exists independently of social actors who are socialized into its values • Sosiale verskynsels as eksterne feite • Individue word gebore in ‘n reeds-bestaande sosiale wêreld • Sosiale magte en reëls oefen druk uit op rolspelers om te konformeer • Bv kultuur bestaan onhafhanklik van sosiale rolspelers wat in kultuur se waardes gesosialiseer is. .g.Objectivist (naturalist) ontology • social phenomena confront us as external facts • individuals are born into a pre-existing social world • social forces and rules exert pressure on actors to conform • e.

Constructionist (subjectivist) ontology • social phenomena and their meanings are constructed by social actors • continually accomplished and revised • researchers’ accounts of events are also constructions .many alternative interpretations • language and representation shape our perceptions of reality • Sosiale verskynsels en hulle betekenis word gekonstrueer deur sosiale rolspelers • Voortdurend voltooi en hersien • Navorsers se weergawe van gebeure is ook konstrukte – baie alternatiewe interpretasies • Taal en representasie vorm ons persepsies van realiteit .

become ‘extinct’)? • An implicit analogy between ‘languages’ and biological ‘organisms’ (and ‘species’) .g.e. can languages die (i.E.g. ontology in language (use)… Ontological assumptions are frequently evident in analogies (usually implicitly) drawn between classes of phenomena • E.

Epistemological considerations • Epistemology = logic of knowing • ‘How’ do we justify beliefs as ‘knowledge’? • Can the social world be studied ‘scientifically’? • Is it appropriate to apply the methods of the natural sciences to social science research? • Epistemologie = logika van weet • ‘Hoe’ regverdig ons oortuigings as ‘kennis’? • Kan die sosiale wêreld ‘wetenskaplik’ bestudeer word? • Is dit gepas om metodes van natuurwetenskappe toe te pas op navorsing in sosiale wetenskappe? .

Positivist (naturalist) epistemology • Application of natural science methods to social science research (Comte “positive”. Mill “exact”…) • Phenomenalism: knowledge via the senses • Distinction between scientific and normative statements • Objective. waarde-vrye navorser . value-free researcher • Toepassing van natuurwetenskaplike metodes op sosiale wetenskaplike navorsing (Comte. Mill…) • Fenomenalisme: kennis deur die sintuie • Onderskeid tussen wetenskplike en normatiewe stellings • Objektief.

literature) rather than natural science methods • e. philosophy.g. filosofie. Phenomenology: subjective logics of social phenomena • e. interpreteer (?). letterkunde) eerder as natuurwetenskaplike metodes • bv. ‘verklaar’ => ‘explain’ (nuanse) .Interpretivist epistemology • Interpretive methods (from theology. Fenomenologie: subjektiewe logika van sosiale veskynsels • bv. Weber: ‘verstehen’ = verstaan. ‘explanation’) • Interpretatiewe metodes (van teologie.g. Weber: ‘verstehen’ = interpretative understanding of social action (vs.

Language? (deep structures?) • Kritiese realisme – Teoretiese terme bemiddel ons kennis van realiteit – Onderliggende strukture genereer observeerbare gebeure .Realist epistemology • Similarities to positivism: – external (social) reality exists independently of our perceptions • Ooreenkomste met positivisme: – Eksterne realiteit bestaan onafhanklik van ons persepsies • Empirical (naïve?) realism (positivism?) – close correspondence between reality and terms used to describe it – direct knowledge of the social world • Empiriese (naïewe?) realisme (positivisme?) – Naby ooreenstemming tussen realiteit en terme wat dit beskryf – Direkte kennis van die sosiale wêreld • Critical realism – theoretical terms mediate our knowledge of reality – underlying structures generate observable events – E.g.

What is a research strategy? • useful introductory way of classifying methods of social research • two distinctive clusters of research strategies: quantitative and qualitative • these strategies differ in terms of their: – general orientation to social research – ontological basis – epistemological foundations • Nuttige inleidende manier om metodes van sosiale navorsing te klassifiseer • Twee afsonderlike groepe navorsingstrategieë: • Kwantitatief en kwalitatief • Hierdie strategieë verskil in terme van hulle: – Algemene oriëntasie tot sosiale navorsing – Ontologiese basis – Epistemologiese grondslagte .

Breaking down the Quantitative vs Qualitative research distinction What about “numbers” (numerical data) vs “words” (verbal data) – a fourth dimension of difference? .

Quantitative research • measurement of social variables • common research designs: surveys and experiments • numerical and statistical data • deductive theory testing • objectivist view of reality as external to social actors (?!) • positivist epistemology (?) • Meet van sosiale veranderlikes • Algemene navorsingsontwerpe: opnames en eksperimente • Numeriese en statistiese data • Deduktiewe teorie-toetsing • Objektivistiese siening van realiteit as ekstern tot sosiale rolspelers (?!) • Positivistiese epistemologie (?) .

tekste en stories • Induktiewe benadering: teorie ontstaan uit data • Sosiale konstruktionistiese ontologie (?!) • Begrip van die subjektiewe betekenisse van rolspelers (Interpretatiewe epistemologie) (?) .Qualitative research • common methods: interviews. etnografie • Data is woorde. ethnography • data are words. texts and stories • inductive approach: theory emerges from data • social constructionist ontology (?!) • understanding the subjective meanings held by actors (interpretivist epistemology) (?) • Algemene metodes: onderhoude.

Choosing a strategy • A choice between a quantitative OR a qualitative strategy? • Yes: for practical purposes there are relatively distinct traditions and skillsets • No => lecture 22 ‘bridging the divide’ • ’n Keuse tussen ‘n kwantitatiewe OF ‘n kwalitatiewe strategie? • Ja: vir praktiese doeleindes is daar verskillende tradisies en vaardigheidstelle • Nee => lesing 22: ‘oorbrug die gaping’ .

– Quantitative methods – Qualitative methods – Mixed methods .

waardes.Practical issues influencing both quantitative & qualitative research • Researcher interests (2 senses) & values time • cost/funding available • how much prior literature exists • topic (sensitive issues may be more suited to qualitative research) • all social research is a compromise between the ideal and the feasible • Navorser se belange en belangstelling. tyd • Koste/befondsing beskikbaar • Hoeveel literatuur bestaan reeds • Onderwerp (sensitiewe kwessies miskien meer gepas vir kwalitatiewe navorsing) • Alle sosiale navorsing is ‘n kompromis tussen die ideale en die uitvoerbare .