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Exploring Post-positivism and Modernism

I am in the process of working on a paper and need some guidance or some additional insight to enhance the subject matter.

Analyze the ontological, axiological, epistemological, and methodological tenets or assumptions following two epistemological paradigms: postpositivism and postmodernism. Assess the challenges and strengths to postpositivism and postmodernism in shaping practice and research.

The paper will only be a few pages long so this is not a lengthy project. Any references must be cited (APA format)

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OTA 105878/Xenia Jones


What is post-positivism? Basically speaking, it is a truism, a critical reaction to the positivist position. Positivism in the social sciences is the application of empirical inquiry in social science research. Positivism in the natural sciences however seeks generalizations for the initial application of empirical research in science is observable and verifiable research of closed systems, like that in a laboratory where all variables are accounted for. This is the problem is the social sciences - unlike natural sciences, society is an open system. Scholars doing the research are themselves part of the system so there is already that issue of bias in comparison to natural science research where scientists study the phenomenon in question under a microscope - distanced, where neutrality can easily be practiced. Additionally, open systems have variables unaccounted for. So, while chemical research and biological research can control all variables in a study, this is not the case in social science. There would be variables unaccounted for making the results of the research only applicable or true within a particular context, generalizations and universal laws cannot be established. In other words, truth or knowledge produced in social science research is relative.

Now, Post-positivism does not just reject positivist approach per se. as a critique of the theory, it seeks to amend it to suit social science research. Post-positivists believe that established knowledge is open to critique and can be challenged due to it being open to conjectures. Now, while this is somewhat similar ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides assistance to a student in putting together a paper on postpositivism and postmodernism where the ontological, axiological, epistemological, and methodological tenets or assumptions of each are explored. References are listed for further exploration of the topic. A word version is attached for easy download and printing.