ERIC Number: ED371020
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Validation as Communication and Action: On the Social Construction of Validity.
Arguments are presented for conceptualizing validity within a postmodern approach. Validity, reliability, and generalizability have been a holy trinity of social science research, and standard definitions of validity have been taken from criteria developed for psychometric tests. From a postmodern point of view, validity is sometimes discarded as a leftover from a modernist correspondence theory of truth. One consequence of departing from a modern correspondence theory is seeing validity as depending on the quality of craftsmanship by investigation. In a postmodern age, the concept of knowledge as a mirror of reality is replaced by knowledge as a social construction of reality. Validity can come to hinge on the fundamental conceptions of the subject matter being investigated. Valid knowledge is not merely obtained by approximations to a given social reality but involves a conversation about the reality, and what is valid is decided through discourse. Truly valid research, in the postmodern era, would be research that makes questions of validity superfluous because of its craftsmanship and strong results. (Contains 23 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Correspondence Theory; Discourse; Social Construction
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 4-8, 1994).