| ||Positivism||Postpositivism||Constructionism||Critical Theory|
(the nature of reality)
|The world is real and knoweable |
"naive realism" or "objectivism"
|The real reality is imperfectly knoweable through probabilties.|
|Realities are local and specifically constrcuted within time-space-culture and other contexts|
"relativism" (or "interpretivism") Multiple subjective realities co-exist.
|We live in a virtual reality shaped by social, political, cultural, economic, ethnic, gender, age, etc. values that crystalise and change over time. |
Multiple realities co-exist. Misunderstanding of the world abounds and is linked to the oppression of groups.
|2. Epistemology |
(how we can know about reality )
|Dualist (mind "vs" body), objectivist. Findings are true knowledge (truth).||Modified dualist (subjective knower and objective world), objectivist, critical community, findings are true to a degree of probabality.||Transactional, subjectivist, we co-create the findings.||Transactional, subjectivist, findings are mediated by values.|
|3. Methodology |
(procedures/methods of inquiry)
|Experimental, hypotheses testing (verification of hypotheses), quantitative methods.||Modified experimental, hypotheses testing, critical multiplism, falsification of hyotheses, includes quantitative and qualitative methods.||Hermeneutic, dialectical, interactional, interpretive, qualitative.||Dialogic, dialectical, decontructive, discourses.|
|4. AIMS||Explain in order to predict and/or control.||Understanding (verstehen), reconstruction,||Critique, transformation, restitution, emanicpation.|
|5. VOICE / GUISE||Disinterested scientist informs the scientific community, decision makers and change workers.||"passionate participant"as facilitator of multivoice reconstruction.||"transformative intellectual" as advocate or activist.|
|6. VALUES/ MECHANISMS||Reliability, validity, rigour, generalisation, cause and effect, objectivity.|
Control, manipulate, deceive (double blind experiment), expert position of researcher.
Co-construction of text, dialogue, story-telling, inclusive.
|Historical situatedness, address ignorance and misaprehension, analyse deep structure of society and culture, (action, activism), inclusive.|
|4. Politics of Knowledge|
(Whose interests are served, hegemony)
|The funders, the status quo powerful, the leaders, the "discipline", industry, self-interest: publish for publication sake, publish to gain promotion/ tenure/ funding.||(often ineffectual) "helping/saving the oppressed", advocacy and activism.||Inquiry with and through the participants as "co-researchers", liberal agenda, political awareness, researcher's personal identity issues.||Empowerment, emanicipation, social justice focus. |
Seek recognition and input. Researcher's personal identity issues.
|The nature of knowledge||Verified or nonfalsifiable hypoteses that are (probable) facts or laws. Knowlegde is an cummulation of ojbective facts, is devoid of any personal or politicial interests. Belief in the eternal progress of knowledge, and knowledge seen as solution to all problems. ||"Individual reconstructions coalesing around consensus" (Lincoln & Guba, p.170)||Knowledge is infused with political interests, and is embedded within the subjectivity of its creators. Knowledge is in service of moral values toward emancipation of oppressed groups. Structural and historic-social-political insights.|
|Action||Prefer no action.||Activism and advocacy.||Critical-reflexive, sometimes action toward social justice and transformation.||action toward social justice and transformation, critical-reflexive practice, |
| || || |
|Achilles Heels: terms of criticism.||Essentialism, reification, colonialism, patriarchal, gerontocratic, middle-classist, Eurocentricism, the oppressed remain invisible and unempowered, homophobic, bureaucratic, rationalist (a-emotional), technicist.||Everything goes, anarchism, meaninglessness, ||Elitism, Intellectualism, Incomprehensible Language (mindflck), Western bias, |
|Example theories, approaches, paradigms||"hard core statistics"|| ..........||Constructivist, constructionist, radical contructivism, ||Marxist, Critical Pedadgogy, Critical Psychology, |
|Mixed theories|| || ||Cultural Studies, Ethnic Paradigm (Afrocentric), Feminist Paradigm, Queer Theory, |
|The Good Life||Individualism and self-concern, accumulation of wealth and power, supports capitalist forms of economy and societal organisation. || .........|| ..........||Supports democratic-socialism, socialist, Marxist, and other communal forms of societal organisation.|