These brief reading notes summarise the key points made in the below reading as preparation for a seminar about various paradigms used in education and social science research.
Corbetta, P. (2003). Paradigms of social research. In Social research: Theory, methods and techniques (pp. 8-29). : SAGE Publications Ltd doi: 10.4135/9781849209922.n1
SAGE Research Methods: Paradigms of social sciences – reading
Paradigm = Philosophical world-view proposed in the study…a guide or a map, including theory, methods and standards for research.
Accepted by community of scientists / academics in the discipline.
Founded on previous acquisitions in the discipline.
Distinctive way of orienting to the world
To be located in a particular paradigm is to view the world in a particular way.
“Entire constellation of beliefs, values, techniques and so on shared by the members of a given community” – Kuhn 1970.
Synonyms of the concept can be: approach, orientation, framework, paradigm, ontology, epistemology and even worldview – most important to use chosen term consistently!
Paradigms direct research:
- Specification and choice of what to study
- Formulation of hypotheses
- Research techniques.
In social sciences – complex, not a single paradigm: Multi-paradigmatic. Role of guiding vision and view of the world, ways of knowing.
3 Main Questions:
- Does it exist? Real, objective?
- Is it knowable?
- How can we acquire knowledge about it?
→ ESSENCE: Ontology
→ KNOWLEDGE: Epistemology
→ METHOD: Methodology
Table on p9 outlines Positivism → Post-positivism → Interpretivism
Positivism/post-positivism = 2nd half of 19th century. Logic. Probability. Empirical foundation. Social reality can be observed. Quantitative research methods. Desire to control and to know. Anthropocentric. Western way of thinking.
Interpretivism = Difference between social and natural sciences. Reality must be interpreted. Comprehension. More qualitative methods. One of many actors in the world, not the rulers.