Unit 4: Working with Theoretical Frameworks
In qualitative research, student position themselves well if they are fluent in theoretical perspectives such as positivism, postpositivism, phenomenology, critical theory, feminism, etc. Positivist perspectives usually rely on unambiguous and accurate knowledge of the world. Positivist inquiry relies on observation, often that is through scientific observation using methodologies that demonstrate a shared agreement between similar-minded scholars. Within postpositivist frameworks, physicists and other scholars raised concerns about the dogma about positivist approaches to scientific knowledge construction. The notion of uncertainty introduced a chasm between what positivists aim to do and what is scientifically possible. Like positivism, there are various theoretical perspectives that could be considered under the big banner of interpretivism. Interpretivism came out of the need to have a way to understand the social world that is not limited by the tenets of positivism. Unlike positivism, interpretivism takes into account the cultural and historical interpretations of one’s social world when conducting inquiry.