All entries for Sunday 17 May 2015

May 17, 2015

Researcher’s paradigm

Researcher’s paradigm

paradigmResearcher’s paradigm is tricky concept. The problem starts with the term itself, with authors using various terms to refer to the same concept. The used terms include Researcher’s philosophy, philosophical worldview and Researcher’s framework.

Regardless, the paradigm is essentially an umbrella term that refers to the researcher’s ontology and epistemology.

According to Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, Ontology refers to the branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of existence. Epistemology on the other hand refers to the part of philosophy that deals with knowledge. Epistemology is a theory of knowledge, especially with regard to its methods, validity, and scope, and the distinction between justified belief and opinion.

To read more on the difference between ontology and epistemology check my entry to the ARM programme blog and make sure you download the attached PowerPoint file. Here http://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/voices/entry/researchers_paradigm/

A great resource I found online is an article by Professor Ørjan Totland, I found on the Norwegian University of Science and Technology website. Here http://www.idi.ntnu.no/grupper/su/publ/html/totland/ch032.htm

Book suggestions

In our first meeting of the CESPHD support group, we had a lively discussion on the researcher’s paradigm. Thankfully, some great books were suggested. Here’s a detailed account of the suggested books:

A Practical Guide for Beginners1) An easy to read and great with real-life examples book is Braun & Clarke's Successful Qualitative Research: A Practical Guide for Beginners. Library link

Book details:

Paperback: 400 pages

Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd (28 Feb. 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1847875823

ISBN-13: 978-1847875822


2) An authority on Research is John W. Creswell who has many books, except they might be a bit dry. See all Creswell's books in the Library here


3) Another authority on Research is David Silverman whose books are also hard to approach. See all Silverman's books in the Library here


4) Another authoruty is Stephen Gorard, whos provides hugely critical review of other authors. This makes him a great resource for those who want a critical edge to their work. See all Gorard's book in the Library here


A Practical Guide for the Social Sciences5) A must-have book is Matthews & Ross's Research Methods: A Practical Guide for the Social Sciences See Library Link or View Online

Book details:

Paperback: 520 pages

Publisher: Longman; 1 edition (9 Jun. 2010)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1405858508

ISBN-13: 978-1405858502


Feel free to suggest your own favourate books in the comments below


1st Group meeting summary

What a great first meeting we had! I genuinely enjoyed myself and had great discussions with other colleagues. The 75 minutes meeting was very smooth and productive. The 9 attendees discussed their research as well as the format and goal of the support group.

You can listen to the meeting's recording here and read about the YouTube video here

The summary of the discussions includesmeeting2.jpg

Introducing the Group and its goals, followed by a discussion on the formula and regularity of meetings.

Asima, who also provided us with a list of book recommendations, triggered a lively discussion on Ontology & Epistemology. The discussion is going to continue on our next meeting. Make sure you are present for that!

The book recommendations are further discussed here.

Another great discussion on Data Collection took place, with everybody chipping in. We all presented out data collection duration and how we managed our schedules.

Interview transcriptions were also discussed, with colleagues sharing their experiences in using transcribing software (namely NVivo). A coming up meeting will include detailed discussions and tips on using NVivio.

Self-reflection was also discussed and the matter of keeping a personal diary. Some suggested keeping track of your work, others suggested going back to your old material and reflect on it.

A closing discussion included the possibility of help from the department. The idea is that the department offered to provide us with workshop and one-on-one support on key research-related topics, such as using NVivo and SPSS. A group of students who are interested in such help can request formal support from the department. The CESPHD support group will help facilitate this request.

Looking forward to our next meeting! Make sure you are present so you don’t miss out.


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