MSO-002 : Research Methodologies and Methods IGNOU Solved Assignment 2023 Section A
What is phenomenology? Explain with reference to the contribution of Martin Heidegger.
Phenomenology is a philosophical approach that emphasizes the study of subjective experience and consciousness, as opposed to external or objective reality. It is concerned with how we perceive and make sense of the world around us, and with the ways in which our experiences are shaped by our perceptions, beliefs, and social context.
Martin Heidegger was a prominent phenomenologist who made significant contributions to the field. He believed that the study of subjective experience was essential for understanding the nature of being and existence, and he developed a distinctive approach to phenomenology that emphasized the importance of language and culture.
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According to Heidegger, our experiences are shaped by the cultural and historical context in which we live, and language plays a crucial role in shaping our understanding of the world. He believed that our everyday language use is often based on implicit assumptions and presuppositions that we are not consciously aware of, and that these assumptions can shape our experiences in profound ways.
Heidegger’s approach to phenomenology is often referred to as hermeneutic phenomenology, as it emphasizes the importance of interpretation and understanding in our experiences. He believed that our experiences are always shaped by our interpretation of the world, and that we must engage in an ongoing process of interpretation and reflection in order to understand our own experiences and the world around us.
Heidegger’s contribution to phenomenology has had a significant impact on philosophy, psychology, and other disciplines that study subjective experience. His emphasis on the role of language and culture in shaping our experiences has led to new insights into the ways in which our perceptions and beliefs are influenced by our social context. Overall, phenomenology remains an important approach for understanding the complexities of subjective experience and consciousness.
What is positivism? Discuss Giddens’s critique of positivism
Positivism is a philosophical perspective that originated in the late 19th century and seeks to understand the world through empirical observation and the scientific method. It is a belief that only knowledge that can be scientifically verified is valid and that scientific research should be the sole source of knowledge.
Positivism argues that knowledge should be derived from observable facts and data, and that hypotheses should be tested through empirical observation and experiments. Positivism seeks to explain social phenomena through objective, scientific analysis rather than subjective interpretation.
Anthony Giddens, a prominent British sociologist, has criticized positivism as being limited in its scope and understanding of social phenomena. He argues that positivism cannot fully comprehend the complex and dynamic nature of human societies and the subjective experiences of individuals.
Giddens contends that positivism is too focused on quantitative data and ignores the importance of qualitative data, such as individual experiences and emotions, in understanding social phenomena. He argues that this approach is insufficient because it fails to capture the complexity of human experience and the ways in which individuals interact with and shape their environment.
Moreover, Giddens argues that positivism assumes a clear separation between the observer and the observed, which is not always the case in social research. This separation is problematic because it ignores the fact that researchers themselves are also part of the social world they are studying and are therefore influenced by the very phenomena they are observing.
In conclusion, while positivism has its strengths in providing a scientific basis for knowledge, Giddens’ critique highlights the limitations of positivism and the need for a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of social phenomena that takes into account both quantitative and qualitative data and recognizes the interplay between the researcher and the subject of study.
Explain the comparative method. Discuss its scope in social science research.
The comparative method is a research approach that involves examining similarities and differences between different cases or groups to identify patterns and test theories. It is a widely used method in social science research, particularly in fields such as sociology, anthropology, and political science.
The comparative method involves selecting cases or groups that are similar in some respects but differ in others. Researchers then compare these cases or groups to identify patterns and variations in behavior, beliefs, or other social phenomena. This method can be used to study a wide range of social phenomena, such as political systems, social movements, economic systems, or cultural practices.
The scope of the comparative method in social science research is vast, as it can be used to study a wide range of social phenomena across different contexts and cultures. For example, comparative research can be used to study the differences and similarities between political systems in different countries or the impact of social policies on different communities. It can also be used to examine the influence of cultural practices on social behavior or the effects of economic development on social inequality.
The comparative method is particularly useful in social science research because it allows researchers to control for a range of variables that may impact social phenomena, such as historical context, cultural differences, or socio-economic factors. By comparing different cases or groups, researchers can identify the factors that contribute to similarities or differences in social phenomena and test theories about the causes and consequences of these phenomena.
However, the comparative method also has some limitations. One limitation is the challenge of selecting appropriate cases or groups for comparison. Researchers must ensure that the cases or groups they select are sufficiently similar in some respects and sufficiently different in others to enable meaningful comparisons. Additionally, the comparative method cannot provide a complete understanding of social phenomena, as it may overlook important context-specific factors that are not easily comparable across cases or groups.
In conclusion, the comparative method is a valuable research approach in social science research, as it allows researchers to identify patterns and test theories across different contexts and cultures. However, it is important for researchers to be aware of the limitations of this method and to use it in conjunction with other research approaches to achieve a more comprehensive understanding of social phenomena