On page 83 Neuman states:
“An essentialist position states that what people see and touch (i.e. empirical reality) is not overly complex. It reflects the deeper essence of things, people, and relations, in the world…Things are the way they are by nature, or created out of a natural order of the world. Thus race, gender, and measurements of space and time just ‘are’.”
As you work toward completing your Research Question Assignment, consider the above statement as you engage with the literature and make notes/annotations on the articles you read.
Ask yourself – Do the authors take an essentialist (or more broadly, a Positivist) approach to your topic of interest? If not, would you consider it Interpretive, or Critical research? Now that we have been engaging with these various approaches to ‘science/research’, has it influenced or changed your engagement with this research/literature? How?
I would have to say that the more I engage with perspectives such as Interpretivism,
Intersectionality, or Critical, the more I see the effects learning within a Logical Positivist paradigm. Although I have always identified more with qualitative methods, I still tend towards thinking in numbers and Positivist associations.
Assumptions run deep and it takes a lot of work to get to a place where we can think about what we assume about the world. For awhile now, anytime I read anything and come across the words assume or assumption, I stop. Understanding where the author(s) of a study are coming from and what they are assuming is critical to understanding how the study relates to the field of study and how the conclusion and results can be interpreted.
I am still figuring out where I stand within the philosophies of social science. I find I am deciding what I do believe be eliminating that which I do not. I do not believe that there is one objective reality out there that we are all perceiving independently. When it comes right down to it, we are all made of energy. Our atoms and particles intermingle and ripple across one another. Our choices, thoughts, and actions have an effect on the world. I think the world, whatever it is, is in a constant state of change or evolution and it is not statically sitting by while we move about within it.
- CFP: Intersectionality, work and organisations (feministphilosophers.wordpress.com)
- Thinking about Science, Evaluation and e-Health Design (projecthealthdesign.typepad.com)