Philosophy and Theoretical Frameworks Fit Questionnaire

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¶ … philosophy and theoretical frameworks fit into the overall process of research? In its most basic form, the theoretical framework of research relates to the philosophical basis on which the research occurs, forming the link between the theoretical and practical aspects of the research. Identification of methodology forms a philosophical bias, following the scientific method, and forms the overall strategy or process behind using particular methods. Every person has certain beliefs and assumptions that they bring to the research process; for instance, a very basic issue might be the idea of human nature and the nature of processes in certain types of social science research. In other words, what are the underlying assumptions made prior to the research process? (Creswell, 2013, pp. 307-8; pp. 17-20).

Part 2 -- Why is it important to understand the philosophical assumptions? The reason it is important to understand the philosophical assumptions of the research and researcher is so that any previous assumptions or bias may be identified when reviewing the research itself. For instance, if an author has a Marxist viewpoint about history, human development, or even the role of science within human understanding, they will express that in the way their methodological resources are collected, sources used, and overall approach to the research. Understanding this prior to analyzing the data or conclusions helps understand the overall nature of the research process (Creswell, pp. 15-19).Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Questionnaire on Philosophy and Theoretical Frameworks Fit Assignment

Part 3 -- What four philosophical assumptions exist when choosing qualitative research? The four philosophical assumptions are ontological, epistemological, axiological, and methodological. Ontology asks about the nature of reality, or how the universe is seen through many viewpoints. Epistemological asks how knowledge is justified and the relationship between the research and the person doing the research -- what is the subjective evidence and how does the research ensure that bias is lessened? Axiological focus asks about the role of values and in research, how value-laden presumptions may form bias in the process. Finally, methodological assumptions ask about the process and language of the research, what logic or design is used, and what basic format the research may take when extrapolated (Creswell, pp,. 15-22, p. 35).

Part 4 -- How are these philosophical assumptions used and written in to a qualitative study? In any study, since the human element is part of the process, there will be bias, focus on what is and is not included and even details about sourcing materials and overall viewpoint. From an ontological approach, the researcher reports different perspectives as variables and themes develop during the findings (using the scientific method). From the epistemological point, the research must rely on primary source materials as evidence, must believe data from participants, and in many processes, must become an insider in terms of exploring the knowledge base from which this comes (e.g. An anthropologist studying the culture of a tribe, etc.). Axiologically, the research must discuss the values and philosophical tenets that have guided the research, shaped the narrative or use within interpretation of the data and even the sampling technique. Methodologically, the research must work with details that describe the context of the study, the relationship of the study to the field, and the way that the uncovering of the data changes the evolutionary process of the hypothesis over time (Creswell, pp. 22-25).

Part 5 -- What types of interpretive frameworks are used in qualitative research? There are literally hundreds of interpretive frameworks that can be used in qualitative research -- from Marxism to Nihilism, from Post positivism to feminism. The interpretive framework is often based on the knowledge and training of the researcher, as well as the specific type of question the research is attempting to answer. For example, a post positivistic approach takes a hyper-logical, empirical and cause-and-effect orientation to understand qualitative research -- often using objective and quantitative terms and overt approaches. A social constructivist approach, however, is more interpretive and tries to understand the universe in the way individuals live, work, incorporate culture and ideas. There are various offshoots to all of these philosophical formats, of course, one could take a Marxist-Feminist approach to research and therefore view the world by focusing on the social institutions of capitalism that explain gender inequality and oppression (Creswell, pp. 22-24).

Part 6 -- How are interpretive frameworks written into a qualitative study? The very nature of research is its methodological construction. This may be inductive, emerging and evolving and are all shaped by the researcher's experience within data collection and analysis. It is not always necessary to be overt and blatant about writing frameworks into the study, but the manner in which they are embedded forms an overall guide or paradigm to the way the research is done, and thus how the data may be interpreted. These overt paradigms can be written into the study by using them as an explanation for the brief, for the overall methods, and indeed for the manner in which the researcher defines and explains the problem being researched as well as the importance. For instance, if one were researching the role of consumer behavior in decision-making on Internet sites, then there would be an interpretive framework based on consumerism, consumption and economic theory -- all of which would be discussed during the introduction to the research problem, and then theoretically modeled for structure within the methodological sections (Creswell, pp. 24-26).

Part 7 -- How are philosophical assumptions and interpretive frameworks linked in a qualitative study? The linkage between philosophical assumptions and interpretive frameworks is actually the glue that binds a study together into a reasonable format. In general, this is the manner in which the individual researcher uses their prior knowledge and overall philosophical bias to form the research question, and then interpret the data sets based on that overall set of assumptions. The nature of research is that there will be data that is included, data that is discarded, and data that may have variable value over time based on the assumptions made. Truth is relative in this case. For example, let us suppose that the research topic focused on teachers during the McCarthy Era. Depending on the interpretive framework and original philosophical assumptions, the research might utilize HUAC and State Department or Department of Education documentation. However, another social viewpoint might indicate that those sources are not valuable because they focus on a strict party line, and that individual diaries, newspaper stories, oral histories or more personal data would be more enlightening when asking questions about a controversial time. The linkage is then based on the research question, format, subject matter and hypothesis (Creswell, pp. 26-34)..

Chapter 3- Part 1 -- What are the characteristics of qualitative research? Qualitative research is a form of academic inquiry that tries to get at the heart of a behavioral issue and the reasons that surround that behavior. Instead of investigating the what, when and how, qualitative research asks more about the why and how decisions are made, actions are taken, and a side of the process that is sometimes best explained from an subjective and verbal paradigm instead of a strict objective and mathematical or numerical model. The characteristics of qualitative research place the researcher within the world they are researching- through a use of interpretations and help transform the data into representations that may be understood and extrapolated to others. Qualitative research beings with assumptions that address social, cultural and human problems primarily. To study this the approach is emerging and evolving, and takes into account opinions, views, prejudices, bias and the entire aspect of human emotion -- making it necessary to often use small sample sizes and collect more verbal and interpretative data. Over the last few decades in fact, qualitative research has turned more to an interpretive, postmodern and critical practice that allow for action research, problem solving and the relationship between truth, knowledge and interpretation (Creswell, pp. 43-5).

Part 2 -- What types of problems are best suited for qualitative inquiry? Qualitative inquiry is best suited for problems of interpretation, belief, feelings, and demonstrable actions. It may be narrative in nature, it may be relationship oriented, and it may deal with cause and effect, but on a more subjective and human prospective. In general, many social science disciplines use qualitative research because it allows for a broader understanding of the human condition. If one is studying the role of social networking on young Hispanic adolescents in a specific urban area, there will of course be objective data collected (demographics, usage figures, etc.). However, the discussion of views, reasons for use, how social networking works within their groups, influences, effects, etc. all becomes part of the qualitative paradigm (Creswell, pp. 43-6).

Part 3 -- What special research skills are required to undertake this type of research? Qualitative research requires more social skills and interpretive skills that are subjective in nature- making leaps and generalizations from subjective data as well. For instance, qualitative researchers use inductive and deductive logic through examination of documents (primary and secondary), observing… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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