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Is qualitative research ‘scientific’

Is qualitative research ‘scientific’
Look closely to files I attach to my order (especially Hanson 2008 ‘wither Qualitative/Quantitative?: Grounds for Methodological Convergence’)
In this essay you have mention following things (not in an order though, just highlight these things according to your essay plan)
1. positivism (comparison between natural science and social science)
2. limitation of quantitative research method in that evaluating human beings which implies that unlike objects in the natural world human actors are not simply the product of the pulls and pushes of external forces.
3. Difference between natural science/social science in terms of subjectivity/objectivity (refer to Max Weber’s ‘VERSTEHEN’ that discusses intersubjective processes)
4. Subjectivity/Objectivity (also note Max Weber’s ‘VERSTEHEN’ that discusses intersubjective processes)
5. Quantification (how in social science quantification sometimes neglects human factors)
the question is if the measuring instrument measures what it is supposed to
measure.
A quantitative researcher attempts to fragment and delimit phenomena into
measurable or common categories that can be applied to all of the subjects of
research (Winter, 2000). In his/her attempts, the researcher’s methods involve the
“use of standardised measures so that the varying perspectives and experiences of
people can be fit into a limited number of predetermined response categories to
which number are assigned” (Patton, 2001, p.14)
5. Systematization
Often quantitative research is associated with methodical practice.
systematization is a matter of practice rather than a matter of method. For example,
the practice of identifying hypotheses, collecting data, presenting findings and
analyzing results can involve a range of methods.
Furthermore for both qualitative and quantitative approaches, research practice is
often a pragmatic exercise. The question of non-response and social desirability in
survey research also reflects this.
Coding survey data involves many interpretive leaps since people use the wrong
mark, put the right mark in the wrong place, write an answer when they do not
understand the format, put marks in between categories, etc. Once the data is
coded, and cleaned, analysis involves ongoing recoding, reclassification of missing
data, combination of variables and statistical transformation.
5. Generalisability
Although quantitative practices are often seen as making universalist, positivist, or
nomothetic assumptions, they most often are targeted to a specific theoretical
universe. When quantitative sociologists try to generalize, their conclusions can not
reach beyond the defined universe, population or context.
For qualitative work, it still is an attempt to develop sensitizing constructs that can be used by other sociologists in other situations. Qualitative practices by not making claims of representativeness may be less bound to specificity, therefore of more general use.
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