670-3 Theoretical Underpinnings of Urban Research

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Implications of Ontology and Epistemology on Philosophies of research and hence on Urban Research Design Processes.

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Theoretical Underpinnings of Research:

Theoretical Underpinnings of Research Viv Grigg, based on Grey, ch 2 Applied to Urban Research

Inductive? Deductive?:

Inductive? Deductive? What is inductive research? What is deductive research?

Inductive? Deductive?:

Inductive? Deductive? What is inductive research? Fragments to the whole Elements to theory What is deductive research? From a theory, an integrative whole to the details Theory to elements

Epistemology and ontology:

Epistemology and ontology Epistemology is….. Ontology is….

Epistemology and ontology:

Epistemology and ontology Epistemology is….. The study or a theory of the nature and grounds of knowledge especially with its limits and validity (what it means to know) Ontology is…. The study of being, the nature of existence, what constitutes reality (what is?) Positivists: the world is independent of our knowledge, it is out there For relativists: there are multiple realities and ways of accessing them. What is legitimate adequate

Divided academe (and theology):

Divided academe (and theology) Is the world changing and emerging? An ontology of becoming Chaos, formlessness, change… Is the world a permanent and unchanging reality? An ontology of being Formed of entities with identifiable properties This has predominated, hence positivism underlies most research paradigms Objectivsm – reality out there, ignore feelings and values Objective subjectivism – study of values, attitudes and beliefs but with an objectivity. Positivism –a rigorous process of scientific inquiry Underlying MATUL & urban theological paradigms Underlying current modernist theological paradigms

Approaches within an Ontology of Being Change is a given and a goal:

Approaches within an Ontology of Being Change is a given and a goal Constructivism – truth and meaning are created by the subjects interactions with the world. Meaning is constructed not discovered. Subjectivism – meaning is imposed on the object by the subject. Subjects do construct meaning, but do so from collective consciousness, dreams, religious beliefs Can this be used in analyzing the values , beliefs of an emerging Christianity

(cont’d):

(cont’d) Critical Inquiry Questions values and beliefs, challenges conventional social structures Invites the researcher to discard the “false consciousness” in order to develop new ways of understanding. Presuppositions (largely derived from Marxist theory) Ideas are mediated by power relations in society Some societal groups are privileged and hence oppressive Facts cannot be disentangled from ideology and self – interests of the dominating groups Thus mainstream research is inherently reproducing systems of class, race and gender oppression Appropriate for MATUL advocacy and land rights research

Feminist Epistemologies:

Feminist Epistemologies Presupposition: What is known is determined by social position. Marx define position as a persons relationship to the means of production Feminism defines womanhood as an oppressed social class. Logicist research is considered an aspect of male dominant thinking Alternative – more feminine – approaches include the relectivity and social postioning of ethnography Appropriate in MATUL research in women’s issues

Pragmatism:

Pragmatism An older philosophy developed by Charles Piere , William James and John Dewey(1859-1952) Re-emergent as a research paradigm largely because of research into management Enables the mixing of approaches AN IDEOLOGY IS TRUE ONLY IF IT WORKS and GENERATES PRACTICAL CONSEQUENCES for SOCIETY. Does the proposition suit a purpose? Is it capable of creating action? Underlies MATUL development research approach

Phenomenological Research:

P henomenological Research Inductive: Can allow new themes, new data to emerge. In depth: Producing “thick descriptions” of peoples experiences and perspectives Intimate: Often based on a small number of case studies or stories Unstructured: so hard to generalize and largely non-reproducible Collations of stories on themes and case studies can be effective in emerging new MATUL themes

Four Purposes of Research:

Four Purposes of Research Exploratory: explore an unknown topic evaluating what issues can be developed. Descriptive: What? Explanatory: why and how? causal relationships between variables Interpretive: explore peoples’ experiences, values, beliefs. Inductive, qualitative Good for the short time frame of the MATUL

References:

References Gray, David E. (2014). Doing Research in the Real World . Los Angeles: Sage. Ch 2.

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