Read e-book online Accountability in Social Research: Issues and Debates PDF

By Norma Romm

ISBN-10: 0306465647

ISBN-13: 9780306465642

ISBN-10: 030647199X

ISBN-13: 9780306471995

In this ebook i've got targeting drawing awareness to varied conceptions of responsibility that will be dropped at endure in judging the perform of social examine. a lot of the publication is geared up round making particular the assumptions that impression what counts as “proper” learn in society, together with assumptions approximately how social inquirers can be held in charge. My concentration is on reviewing discourses round the perform of “professional” inquiry, as a way to reconsidering the best way humans create expectancies for responsible social inquiry. My concentration hereon is expounded to my hindrance that the style within which judgments approximately researchers’ responsibility are made, isn't really with out social results for our approach to life in society. i've got approached the problems via starting with a dialogue of tenets of the placement referred to as “positivism” (so named by way of sure proponents), and via contemplating the view on responsibility that's implied via adherence to those tenets. in brief expressed, positivist argumentation means that researchers are required to “do technology” in a fashion that warrants their being thought of, certainly, scientists. i exploit my dialogue of responsibility as noticeable inside of positivist argumentation to explicate ways that substitute positions have arisen as methods of treating responsibility matters. via my manner of evaluating many of the positions, i am hoping to supply a few indication of the complexity ofethical and responsibility concerns in social inquiry.

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On the one hand, it is true to say that “our knowledge is vast and impressive” (1994, p. 100). On the other hand, it is also true to say that “our ignorance is boundless and overwhelming” (1994, p. 100). Popper suggests that “both of these theses are true, and their clash characterizes our knowledgesituation’’ (1994, p. 100). For Popper, it is this clash that “inspires the advance of knowledge, and . . determines its ever-moving frontiers” (1994, p. 100). Concerning the accomplishment of the task of advancing knowledge, Popper accepts the positivist suggestion that value freedom needs to be striven for in the process of scientific inquiry.

People could not live by the decision to redefine reality as something that is simply a construction of social discourse, with no independent existence. People live in terms of the idea that they require some knowledge of (outside) reality in order to orient themselves in the world. And researchers can engage in systematic attempts to find out more about reality than is likely to be found in other arenas of social life. Hammersley and Gomm aver that when constructivists appeal to the idea that we live in a world of multiple realities (expressed as different constructions), they develop an unsustainable position.

This view suggests that “researchers must be regarded as actually constructing the phenomena they describe, on the basis of cultural [linguistic] resources available to them”. Hammersley expands on what is meant by this, namely that “their descriptions and explanations reflect their own perspectives rather than, or as much as, the nature of the phenomena they claim to be describing” (1995, p. 16). Hammersley points out that such a constructivist position amounts to arguing that scientific inquiry cannot justify any claims to describe or explain realities existing The Practice of Social Science 35 outside of the knowing process.

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Accountability in Social Research: Issues and Debates by Norma Romm


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