Saturday, 17 October 2015

Bringing together the week 1 reading

Even before the weekend, I'd started to get an understanding of why we'd been given the articles to read. They all revolve around the idea of validity. How do we know that research is good research? Do we actually need to know this?

Different paradigms raise different interpretations of what is meant by 'good' research and how this can be determined.

At the weekend session, each group was given a paper to discuss. we ended up with Lather, which was rather mind-blowing.

What was said about each author?

Hammersley: A post-empiricist, believing in 'subtle realism'. He believes that rigorously conducted method is a guarantor of truth, from a scientific viewpoint. "Validity is a synonym of truth and method its guarantor" (p. 69). This is the correspondence theory of truth. For Hammersley, research is science.

Smith: Outlines three perspectives that challenge the dominant view. He suggests that all judgements are based on practical, ethical issues - we are all post-foundationalists. We make judgements based on social interaction. The criteria aren't fixed in advance (compare to Hammersley). Think about how you judge art. You engage with the piece - you ask questions of it, it asks questions of you - a "fusion of horizons" - dialectical criteria.

Collins: Structures in society perpetuate the dominant truth. Concrete experience is required.

Lather: Not quite 'anything goes' but suggests a more open view of what can be used to consider validity. Be aware that even in alternative views of validity, the shadowy hand of positivism remains.
 Use of reflexive poetry, reflecting on participants' feedback. All needs t be considered. And maybe all's been done before...Erasmus Darwin  - scientific prose in poetry! It seems that, although Lather suggested that some of her ideas were undoubtedly ephemeral; nevertheless, some seem to have ensured over 20 years...

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