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There is no single type of method which is used by all postmodernists. Many
postmodernists will use traditional methods but will use them to study
postmodern topics. Postmodernists often act in reaction to modernist
theories which are based on the meta narratives or whole structure theories
such as Marxism or functionalism. Postmodernists do not always believe that
it is possible to discover an absolute truth and believes that many
perspectives and viewpoints are equally valid.
Lyotard is a postmodernist who rejects the scientific nature of knowledge
and believes that all knowledge is a form of story telling. Different people
may therefore tell different stories. Some postmodernists try to work by
collecting the views and stories from a wide group of people which allows
them to challenge the existing perception or data.
Derrida is an example of a postmodernist who works by examining texts and
finding the messages and meanings in the work. This is sometimes called
deconstruction and means that analysis takes place to reveal new knowledge.
Critics of postmodernism methods would claim that some evidence is needed
and that sociologists need to do more than just come up with interpretations
and ideas. Carspecken believes that postmodernism is useful for adding
insights but states that there should be some evidence and argument to back
up the insight for the methods and theory to be valued in society.


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