The sage handbook of qualitative research Ch7_8_9

7. Paradigms and Perspectives in Contention
• Paradigm is a basic set of beliefs that guide action. It is consist of ethics (how to be a moral person), epistemology (how to acquire knowledge), ontology (what is nature of reality), and methodology (means to acquire knowledge).
• Perspective shares some elements (such as set of methodological assumptions and a particular epistemology) with paradigm but it is not as unified and solidified as paradigm.
• Major paradigms’ framework includes positivism, postpositivism, constructivism, and participatory action.
• Pedigrees of many paradigms are inbreeded.

Major Issues Confronting All Paradigms
• All paradigms confront 7 critical issues: 1) axiology (ethics and values), 2) accommodation and commensurability (can paradigms be fitted into one another?), 3) action (what the researcher does in the world), 4) control (who initiates inquiry, who asks questions), 5) foundation of truth (foundationalism vs. anti- and nonfoundationalism), 6) validity (traditional positivist models vs. poststructural-constructionist criteria), and 7) voice, reflexivity, and postmodern representation (single-vs. multivioced).

Constructivism, Interpretivism, and Hermeneutics
• Constructivism adopts a relative ontology, a transactional epistemology, hermeneutic, and dialectical methodology. This paradigm becomes more important in social world.
• Trustworthiness and authenticity is replacing traditional positivist criteria of internal and external validity.
• Constructivism builds on antifoundational arguments and encourages experimental and multivoiced texts.

Critical Ethnography
• Post-1960 critical ethnographers began supporting cultural critiques of modern society, revolted against positivism, and used multiple standpoint epistemologies to pursue a politically progressive agenda.
The Feminisms
• The feminist qualitative research is highly diversified. According to Olesen (1994), there are 3 major strands of feminist inquiry- standpoint epistemology, empiricist, and postmodernism-cultural studies.

Moral Activism and Critical Race Theory Scholarship
• Gloria Ladson-Billings and Jamel Donnor move critical race theory directly into the fields of politics and qualitative inquiry.
• For recent work, it shows that the dominant cultural paradigms have produced fractured, racialized identities and experiences of exclusion for minority scholar.

Critical Theory
• Various critical theories circulate within the discourses of qualitative research.
• Ontology based on historical realism, and epistemology that is transactional, and a methodology that is both dialogic and dialectical play important role in paradigm.
• Critical theory rejects economic determinism and focuses on the media, culture, language, power, desire, critical enlightenment, and critical emancipation.

Cultural Studies
• Cultural studies cannot be contained within a single framework.
• Its research is historically self-reflective, critical, interdisciplinary, conversant with high theory and focused on the global and the local.
• It takes into account historical, political, economic, cultural and every day discourse.
• Cultural studies are about cultural texts, lived experience, and the articulated relationship between texts and everyday life.
• Contextualism and contextual validity move back and forth in time from the particular and the situational to the general and historical.

Critical Humanism and Queer Theory
• Critical race theory brought race and the concept of a complex racial subject squarely into qualitative inquiry. Queer theory does the same.
• Critical race theory (queer theory) questions and deconstructs the concept of a unified sex (racialized) subject.
• When queer theory took place, social science was in the age of postmodern, fragmentation, globalization, posthumanism.

In Conclusion
• The researcher-as-interpretive-bricoleur must understand the basic ethical, ontological, epistemological, and methodological assumptions of each paradigm and be able to engage them in dialogue.

8. Paradigmatic Controversies, Contradictions, and Emerging Confluences

• There are three main changes in the landscape of social scientific inquiry. First, reader familiar with the literature on methods and paradigms reflect a high interest in ontologies and epistemologies. Second, even those professionals trained in quantitative social science want to learn more about qualitative approaches. Third, the number of qualitative texts, research paper, workshop and training materials has increased.
• Social sciences move out of conventional paradigms and move toward more interpretive, postmodern, and criticalist practices and theorizing.
• Inquiry methodology cannot be treated as a set of universally applicable rules or abstraction. It is more mixed.
• Various paradigms began to inbreed.

Major Issues Confronting All Paradigms
• Important issues (concerning a new awareness, the influence of one paradigm on another, and the new theoretical and or field oriented treatments that are newly available) of all paradigms are axiology, accommodation and commensurability, action, control, foundations of truth and knowledge, validity, and voice, reflexitivity, and postmodern textual representation.

• Axiology is a part of the basic foundational philosophical dimensions of paradigm proposal.
• Axiology is not only about value, but also about choice of the problem, choice of paradigms to guide the problem, choice of theoretical framework, choice of major data gathering and data analytic methods, choice of context, treatment of values already resident within the context, and choice of format(s) for presenting findings.
• Value is a major point of difference between positivist, conventional models of inquiry and interpretive forms of inquiry.

Accommodation and Commensurability
• At the paradigmatic level, commensurability between positivist and postpositivist world views is not possible but mixed methodologies of positivist and postpositivist may make good sense.
• Positivism and postpositivism are commensurable. Interpretivist/postmodern critical theory, constructivist and participative inquiry, fit comfortably together.
• Commensurability is an issue when researchers want to pick and choose among the axioms of positivist and interpretivist models because their axioms are contradictory and mutually exclusive.

The Call to Action
• Positivists and postpositivists see action on research results as a meaningful and important outcome of inquiry process. They believe action to be either a form of advocacy or a form of subjectivity, either or both of which undermine the aim of objectivity.
• Critical theorists advocated varying degrees of social action from the overturning of specific unjust practices to radical transformation of entire society.
• The call for action differentiates between positivists and postmodern criticalist theorist including feminist and queer theorists).
• The constructivist and participatory phenomenological models move a step beyond -interpretation and verstehen or understanding toward social action.
• Many positivist and postpositivist inquirers still consider action the domain of communities other than researchers and research participants.

• Control of study is about the following questions: Who initiates? Who determines salient questions? Who determines what constitutes findings?, Who determines how data will be collected? Who determines in what forms the findings will be made public?, Who determines what representations will be made of participants in the research?
• The issue of control is deeply embedded in the questions of voice, reflexivity, and issues of post modern textual representation for new paradigm inquirers.
• Critical theorists are painfully aware of the necessity for member of the community to take control of their future.
• Constructivists desire participants to take an increasingly active role in nominating questions of interest.
• For new-paradigm researchers, control is a mean to of fostering emancipation, democracy, and community empowerment and of redressing power imbalances such that those who were previously marginalized now achieve voice.
• Paradigmatic formulations interact such that control becomes inextricably intertwined with mandates for objectivity.

Foundations of Truth and Knowledge in Paradigms
• For modernist (Enlightenment, scientific method, conventional, positivist) researchers, most assuredly there is a real reality out there. Reality can be approached through the utilization of methods that prevent human contamination of is apprehension and comprehension. Realists who work on this assumption might be foundationalists, taking the view that all of these ways of defining are rooted in phenomena existing outside the human mind.
• Critical theorists, constructivists, and participatory/cooperative inquirers take their primary field of interest to be precisely that subjective and intersubjective social knowledge and the active construction and co-creation of such knowledge by the human agents that is consciousness. New paradigm inquire take to the social knowledge field with Zest, informed by a variety of social, intellectual , and theoretical explorations.
• New paradigm inquirers engage the foundational controversy in quite different ways.
• Critical theorists tend toward foundational perspectives, with an important difference. They locate foundational truth and knowledge in specific historical, economic, racial, and social infrastructures of oppression, injustice, and marginalization. Social critique raised consciousness of the possibility of positive and liberating social change.
• Constructivists tend toward anti-foundational., a refusal to adopt any permanent, unvarying (or foundational) standards by which truth can be universally known.

Validity: An Extended Agenda
• Validity is the conflation between method and interpretation.
• The postmodern suggests that no method can deliver on ultimate truth (in fact suspects all methods)
• New paradigm inquirers are increasingly concerned with the single experience, the individual crisis. Social scientist concerned with the expansion of what count as social data rely increasingly on the experiential, the embodied, the emotive qualities of human experience.
Whither and Whether Criteria
• Schwandt (1996) resituates social inquiry with other contemporary philosophical pragmatists, within a framework that transforms professional social inquiry into a form of practical philosophy. He proposed three criteria. First, searching for a social inquiry that generates knowledge that complement or supplements rather than displacing lay probing of social problems- a form of knowledge for which we do not yet have the content. Second, social inquiry as practical philosophy that has as its aim enhancing or cultivating critical intelligence in parties to the research encounter. Third, we might judge social inquiry as practical philosophy.
• Schwandt’s issue is that we should focus on what the nature of social inquiry ought to be, whether it ought to undergo a transformation, and what might be the basis for criteria within a projected transformation, not what criteria we should adopt.
Validity as Authenticity
• The authenticity criteria we believed to be hallmarks of authentic, trustworthy, rigorous, or valid constructivist or phenomenological inquiry were fairness, ontological authenticity, educative authenticity, catalytic authenticity, and tactical authenticity.
• Fairness was thought to be a quality of balance that is all stakeholder views, perspectives, claims, concerns and voices should be apparent in the text.
• Ontological and educative authenticity were designated to for determining a raised level of awareness by individual research participants and by individuals about those who surround them or whom they contact for social purpose.
• Catalytic and tactical authenticities refer to ability of given inquiry to prompt action on the part of research participants and the involvement of the researcher/evaluator in training participants in specific forms of social and political action if participants desired training.
Validity as Resistance, Validity as Poststructural Transgression
• Laurel Richardson (1994, 1997) has proposed another form of validity, a deliverately transgressive form, the crystalline. Here the crystal/text can be turned in many ways. The light/multi-layers of meaning which we can see both light wave/human currents and particle (light as chunks of energy/elements of truth, feeling, connection, processes of the research that flow together) is an attractive metaphor for validity.
Validity as an Ethical Relationship
• Lather (1993) points out post-structural forms for validities bring ethics and epistemology together.
• Seven new standards were derived form that search: personality, or standpoint, judgment; specific discourse communities and research sites as arbiters of quality; voice, or the extent to which a text has the quality of polyvocality; critical subjectivity (or what might be termed intense self-reflexivity); reciprocity, ort the extent to which the research relationship becomes reciprocal rather than hierarchical; sacredness, or the profound regard for how science can (and does) contribute to human flourishing; and sharing the perquisites of privilege that accrue to our positions as academics with university position.

Voice, Reflexivity, and Postmodern Textual Representation
• Voice is a multilayered problem, simply because it has come to mean many things to different researchers. Today voice can mean not only having real researcher, researcher’s voice in the text but also letting research participants speak for themselves.
• Reflexivity is the process of reflecting critically on the self as researcher, the human as instrument. Multiple selves- ourselves and our respondents- of postmodern inquiries may give rise to more dynamic, problematic, open-ended and complex forms of writing and representation.
Postmodern Textual Representations
• Two dangers in the conventional texts of scientific method are that they lead to the belief that the world is rather simpler than it is and they reinscribe enduring forms of historical oppressive.
• Representation may be arguable that the ideas of that constitutes legitimate inquiry are expanding and at the same time the forms of narrative, dramatic, and rhetorical structure are far from being either explored or exploit fully.

9. Critical Ethnography

• Positivists believe that there is an ideal of grand theorizing and universalistic knowledge production and research techniques can produce a detached, objective standpoint.
• Post -1960s critical ethnographers moved more toward cultural critiques and rejected positivism. They focused on historically and culturally standpoints and abandon positivist fallacy by using multiple epistemologies.
• Critical ethnographers focus more on public issues and are finding more audience. They are involved in progressive social movements and community reforms. However, they might not be political active.
• Tax (1963) supported that action anthropologists should be more collaborative and indicated that applied anthropologists should find independent funding and work more direct with participants of study, action anthropologists became insiders and could collect data on social change better.
• The number of politically active anthropologists and sociologists is growing. Active anthropologists are more involved in political struggles.

Some Recent Trends in Critical Ethnography

Case Study 1: A Cultural Critic in Search of Collaborative Methods
• Traditional research has little effort to involve local people. The study involved more collaborative in cultural critique than scientific ethnographies, used a conversational or dialogic style of interviewing (interviewed in informal manner), let a number of community member review the study’s ethnographic manuscript before publication, and wrote in ordinary language. The study tried to break with the attitudes and practices of positivistic scientific ethnography and scientific realism.

Case Study 2: An “Activist Sociologist” and Her Legislative Involvement
• The researcher has background as a third-generation Mexican American from West Texas and face difficulty in presenting her ideas. She developed intimate, trusting relationship with different collaborators especially legislators. She got involved in legislative activities. Her collaboration with different groups of participants and roles as researcher and social scientist contribute to her understand more on social science research.

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