RESEARCHING THE REAL WORLD



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Orientation Observation In-depth interviews Document analysis and semiology Conversation and discourse analysis Secondary Data Surveys Experiments Ethics Research outcomes
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© Lee Harvey 2012–2020

Page updated 29 April, 2020

Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012–2020, Researching the Real World, available at qualityresearchinternational.com/methodology
All rights belong to author.


 

A Guide to Methodology

2. Orientation

2.4 Critical Social Research

2.4.1 The Development of Critial Social Research
2.4.1.1 Marx and Marxists

2.4.1.2 Structuralism
2.4.1.3 Critical theory
2.4.1.4 Social criticism
2.4.1.5 Feminism
2.4.1.6 Anti-racism

2.4.1 The development of critical social research
Critical social research is not a new alternative to positivism and phenomenology. On the contrary, it derives from the very foundations of sociology. The dialectical analysis of Karl Marx is the earliest example of critical social research.

Dialectical analysis is a process of locating events or actions in a wider social and historical context and involves conceptually moving backwards and forwards between the specific part and the contextual whole. This is initially difficult to understand and is explained in more detail in Section 2.4.2). (See also Critical Social Research section 2.3.2)

Critical social research is diverse and is also found in the work of subsequent Marxists, feminists, anti-racists, black sociologists, structuralists, cultural theorists and post-colonialists (Harvey, 1990).

See also Critical Social Research Section 1.5 for an outline of the critical tradition

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