positivism vs interpretivism

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  • positivism vs interpretivism
    • interpretivism
      • stress the ability of individuals to exercise control and choice over their actions
      • because everyone is different it is not possible to use scientific methodology to study society
      • data should be detailed in order to gain depth and understanding
      • research should be small scale because this allows more detailed data to be collected
      • validity is more important than reliability
      • the researcher's perspectives can be valuable to the research
      • data may be different from fictional accounts of the social world
      • presence of the researcher may affect the behaviour of those being studied
      • does not provide a systematic or unbiased view of social life
    • positivism
      • believe that the social world is made up of facts which can be studied like the natural world
      • the search for laws of social behaviour using the logic and methods of the natural sciences
      • by applying scientific principles to the study of society, sociologists will be able to put forward proposals for social change which will lead to a better society
      • research should start with a hypothesis
      • the collection of data should be collected objectively and categorised
      • data should be statistical, measurable- can be quantified and analysed to observe trends and correlations
      • needs to be large scale to ensure that the facts found apply to the whole of society
      • reliability is more important than validity
        • research may produce results which are different to how people would behave in the real world
      • the research process should not be influenced by the researcher; variables can be controlled
        • no technique can be completely unbiased
        • the researcher asks questions which they consider important
        • all interactions are subjective as we are individuals

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