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Research Method in Social Science - Essay Example

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Qualitative and quantitative research methods represent two distinctly different ways of approaching research. Critically assess and compare the strengths and limitations of qualitative and quantitative research methods, using concrete examples to support your arguments.
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Research Method in Social Science
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"Research Method in Social Science"

Download file to see previous pages It is infact a habit of questioning what you do, and a systematic examination of the observed information to find answers, with a view to instituting appropriate changes for a more effective professional service.
One's philosophical orientation might stem from one of the several paradigms and approaches in research - positivist, interpretive, phenomenolist, action or participatory, feminist, qualitative or quantitative. The concept of 'validity' can be applied to any aspect of the research process. It ensures that in a research study correct procedures have been applied to find answers to a question. 'Reliability' refers to the quality of a measurement procedure that provides repeatability and accuracy. 'Unbiased and objective' means that every step has been taken without introducing vested self-interest. Adherences to these three criteria enable the process to be called 'research'. However, the degree to which these criteria are expected to be fulfilled varies from discipline to discipline and so the meaning of 'research' differs from one academic discipline to another. For example, the expectations of the research process are markedly different between the physical and social sciences. In the physical sciences, a research endeavour is expected to be strictly controlled at each step, whereas in social sciences rigid control cannot be enforced and sometimes is not even demanded.
There are two main para...
However, there is distinction between qualitative data on the one hand and qualitative research on the other as the first is confined to the measurement of variables and the second to a use of methodology.

Qualitative Vs Quantitative Research

The term quality comes from the Latin word qualitas which means "of what kind'. There is an element of evaluation and judgement and taste connected to the term quality. Quantity is a different matter. The term quantity comes from the Latin word quantitas meaning "how great" or, for our purposes, "how much" or "how many". In the context of social science, quantitative researchers are sometimes accused of being too narrow, basing their research on what they count, measure and observe, and neglecting other matters. Qualitative researchers, however, are accused of "reading into" texts that are not there or of having opinions or making interpretations that seem odd or excessive. Therefore none of the modes of research are exclusively complete in themselves. A combination of the two approaches is a better way of solving a social science research problem.

Qualitative and quantitative research methodologies differ in the philosophy that underpins their mode of inquiry as well as, to some extent, in methods, models and procedures used. Though the research process is broadly the same in both, qualitative and quantitative research are differentiated in terms of methods of data collection, the procedures adopted for data processing and analysis, and the style of communication of the findings.

Qualitative and quantitative research can be compared on the basis of certain parameters. Let us delve into the parameters one by one.

1. Underpinning philosophy
The underlying philosophy of the quantitative approach is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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