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Social Research Principles and Paradigms

Conducting research in the field of social sciences is a challenge for scholars. Its complexity is explained by the necessity to organize observation and reasoning in such a way that the participants do not face any conflicts while the required information is being gathered. Moreover, the process should be aligned with the current ethical and political regulations and implement the existing theory for a better outcome. Therefore, the book written by Eddie Babbie provides invaluable information on basic principles of scientific study, the applicability of paradigms, and possible complications.

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The first chapter narrates reality as an objective measure contrasted by subjective perceptions of society. Social research is presented as an attempt to reveal the truth behind people’s agreement on certain facts (Babbie, 2014). According to the author, this task can be performed through experiments underpinned by logic (Babbie, 2014). In this way, any study’s success is conditional upon following specific standards combined under epistemology and methodology, implying the science and its methods, respectively (Babbie, 2014). In turn, the process of cognition can be viewed as acquiring personal experience, sharing cultural values, or borrowing data from credible sources. In all these types, there is a possibility of such errors as inaccuracy, overgeneralization, selective observation, and illogical reasoning. However, the use of solid theory with variables and attributes when tracing patterns can help avoid distractions.

The second chapter of the book focuses on paradigms, allowing to eliminate the risks of failure in research when reviewing problems. These frames of reference provide a logical explanation of phenomena and analyze specific concepts, which suits best for a study’s objectives. For example, the notion of human rights can be examined in two extremes, such as slave labor in wartime or the “cult of individual,” which will still be within the scope of the same paradigm (Babbie, 2014). Hence, its definition is the key to coming to a conclusion to be used in practice. The process of determining the frameworks applicable to each case incorporates such an approach as connecting subjects to macrotheory or, in other words, interrelations between societies or individual lives of citizens. These methods are complemented by various techniques, including conflict paradigm, symbolic interaction, and many other theories. Their use is critical since they contribute to the provision of reliable materials for future action.

The third chapter presents comprehensive information regarding the ethical aspect of the matter and applicable political considerations. In this part of the book, the author claims that scientific methods are not the only regulations, which should be incorporated in research (Babbie, 2014). He provides scholars’ viewpoints on the issues affecting their initiatives while not being directly connected to them (Babbie, 2014). Therefore, to decrease the probability of a conflict between the participants, it is vital to receive their informed consent on information processing and further use, provide safe conditions, anonymity, and confidentiality. These needs should be complemented by the integrity of researchers following a professional code of ethics to avoid controversies. As for politics, its norms are essential for regulating racial and sexual studies (Babbie, 2014). Thus, the implementation of the mentioned tasks ensures a positive environment for studying societal problems.

In conclusion, these chapters contain essential data regarding the methods of measuring reality, the use of specific theories for this objective, and the corresponding ethical and political issues. The author explains the difference between credible findings and unreliable outcomes of firm beliefs. Moreover, he describes paradigms serving as guidance for scholars using them to narrow the scope of a study and thereby increase precision. The mentioned aspects are complemented by complications resulting from non-compliance with an optimal procedure and bias.

Reference

Babbie, E. (2014). The practice of social research (14th ed.). Cengage Learning.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, December 25). Social Research Principles and Paradigms. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/social-research-principles-and-paradigms/

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