Flashcards in Positivism vs Interpretivism Deck (18)
What type of data do positivists prefer?
Quantitative, reliable, objective, empirical evidence, scientific
What type of data do interpretivists prefer?
Qualitative, valid, subjective, less scientific
Was Durkheim a P or I?
Why do P like scientific evidence?
Produces a C+E relationship
Are P macro or micro?
Are I macro or micro?
Micro - they looks at individuals and meanings
What are the advantages of?
ID trends over time
See correlations + establish casual relation, can develop policy after this
Often involves a larger sample, more representative + generalisable
What are the advantages of I?
High in validity
Verstehen can be established
More likely to retain a 'natural situation'
What are the disadvantages of P?
Fails to consider meanings
Low validity - people may lie/ respond in socially desirable ways
Difficult to gather complex, intimate personal topics
Difficulties in operationalising key concepts
What are the disadvantages of I?
Requires considerable skills
Often has smaller, unrepresentative samples, can't generalise
Difficult to replicate - low in reliability
Relies on the subjective interpretation about complex, intimate personal topics
What are P interested in?
Studying aspects of S which can be objectively observed.
Less interested in thoughts and feelings
More interested in 'social facts' - things which exist objectively in society without the influence of individuals.
What are I interested in?
Focus their research on meanings behind the behaviour of the individuals.
Favor the use of qualitative methods to gain an empathetic understanding of social action.
Who takes the bottom-up approach?
I arguing that the only way to understand S is to look at the world through the eyes of individuals
Who takes the top-down approach?
P - arguing that the best way to understand society is to view it as a real 'thing' which exists independently of individuals and shapes their lives.
How do P argue that sociologists should view society?
The best way to understand society is to view it as a real 'thing' which exists independently of individuals and shapes their lives.
How do I argue that sociologists should view society?
Argue that the only way to understand S is to look at the world through the eyes of individuals
What do P argue that sociologists should look for?
General patterns of behaviour, taking a macro approach.