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ERIC Number: EJ846805
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 43
ISSN: ISSN-1077-8004
Challenging Relativism: The Problem of Assessment Criteria
Hammersley, Martyn
Qualitative Inquiry, v15 n1 p3-29 2009
This article raises serious questions about the relativist approach to assessing qualitative research that has been championed by John K. Smith and various colleagues. They reject not just empiricism but also what they refer to as "neorealism." Against both these positions, they advance an antirealist, anti-ontological argument to the effect that we should not assume the reality of social phenomena as existing independently of our knowledge claims about them; insist that assessing the value of research findings is always a practical matter, rather than an issue of method; and claim that we must abandon epistemic in favor of moral criteria in assessing social research. On the basis of detailed scrutiny of their arguments, it is shown that neither the critique of neorealism they present nor the alternative approach they recommend is coherent or convincing. (Contains 21 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A