Research concepts

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This chapter explores the major philosophical debates in the research field, and introduces and explains key research terms and concepts. A major argument is that an understanding of 'methodology', not only methods and techniques, is important for researchers. The major philosophical traditions discussed are positivism and interpretivism, which can also be described as umbrella paradigms that encompass, firstly, positivist and post-positivist paradigms, and, secondly, constructivist and phenomenological paradigms. The critical theory paradigm, although more closely associated with interpretivism, is discussed separately. Other strands to the chapter include an exploration of the ways in which the term, qualitative research, has been applied; and a discussion of the concept of mixed methods research.




Williamson, K. (2018). Research concepts. In Research Methods: Information, Systems, and Contexts: Second Edition (pp. 3–25). Elsevier Inc.

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