HDR Workshop - The Interpretive Paradigm in Social Science

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Presenter:  Dr Heather Gibb

Date: Mar 18, 2016

Time: 10:00am to 12:30pm

Contact person:  Belinda Snell
T: 08 8946 6153
E: belinda.snell@cdu.edu.au

Location:  Savanna Room, Northern Institute (Yellow 1.2.48) & via WebEx

Target audience:  Northern Institute HDR students

The Interpretive Paradigm in Social Science

Dr Heather Gibb 

Researcher, Northern Institute
Organizational Psychologist, Helping Hand New Aged Care

The workshop is a first step, acquainting students with ‘the interpretive paradigm’.  We will consider debates that have been waged, both historically (1970s onwards) and more recently. 

Attending this workshop will enable you to make choices related to analytic frameworks and associated methods in an informed way. You will become able to defend your choice with academic rigour.  If students wish to continue the discussion that we begin in the workshop, I suggest we consider a 'journal club' format for on-going work.

The workshop will commence with discussion about differences in methods. We will consider some of the philosophical assumptions and methodological principles underlying various approaches. Of course I am not an expert in all methods; rather I see my role as facilitating a growing shared awareness of the issues and approaches to studying methods—methodology. 

We will discuss the claim that a historical focus on paradigms has in the past led to debates about differences between approaches.  More recently however there has been a trend towards emphasising connections, hybridisation of methods and connecting of methodologies. However in each case researchers need to consider whether chosen methods are reconcilable with assumptions underlying the methodology. These assumptions and principles relate to such details as control in the research process; methods of validation of data and even whether literature is reviewed before or after data collection. 

The second part of the workshop will provide an opportunity for very informal presentation of your progress so far. We hope you come along prepared to take up insights from our discussion to engage with the methods you are feeling your way to choosing. No matter how preliminary your thinking we trust you will want to share it. Sharing of your own experiences as you muddle your way to choosing methods, and checking underlying assumptions, will be an important way of getting support and supporting others in this area.