Dependable Ol' Monochrome

I get the feeling that I will inevitably end up adopting the ‘pragmatic/critical-realist’ approach in my research proposal, with quantitative data intended to supplement the qualitative. Hopefully, in this way I can address questions of What, Where, When, How and also the all-important Why. As this approach will likely require relatively more source material I am at least somewhat comforted by Luker’s seek-by-relevancy method.

Something that resonated with me in the Knight readings was that (to paraphrase): ‘Readers will make their own subjective generalizations and interpretations of the data, so the researcher should invite alternative viewpoints from other cases and theories.’ In other words, a reflexive method is crucial in theory development.

But just how possible is it to conduct neutral, objective research, when the parameters of the study alone suggest subjectivity? I’m not sure whether to be irked by the foggy nature of critical-realist social-inquiry or to extol it as a broad summation of perspectives, converging on some informed opinion.


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