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ERIC Number: EJ868642
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-0313-7155
A Critical Commentary on Combined Methods Approach to Researching Educational and Social Issues
Nudzor, Hope Pius
Issues in Educational Research, v19 n2 p114-127 2009
One major issue social science research is faced with concerns the methodological schism and internecine "warfare" that divides the field. This paper examines critically what is referred to as combined methods research, and the claim that this is the best methodology for addressing complex social issues. The paper discredits this claim on the basis of the following three key points. First, it is argued that because there is necessarily not a one to one correspondence between epistemology and methods, an appropriate methodological approach to researching social life cannot necessarily be any one peculiar research methodology. Second, combined methods research attenuates the crucial issue of objectivity in social research and skews the debate towards qualitative and quantitative research as if they are in themselves theoretical perspectives opposed to each other. Third, the supposedly "pragmatic philosophy" underpinning combined methods research (which most adherents of this methodological approach misconstrue as mapping both quantitative and qualitative research onto positivism and interpretivism) amounts to the inherent suggestion that on the one hand the world is flat, and on the other that the world is round. It is concluded that an appropriate methodological approach to researching social life is one which gives pre-eminence first and foremost to the research purpose before such other issues as the skills base of the researcher, who commissions the study and contributions of the research to wider political discourse.
Western Australian Institute for Educational Research Inc. 5/202 Coode Street, Como, Western Australia 6152, Australia. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A