The Importance Of Sociological Research

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Within the sociological discipline, amongst others, a rich supply of research in relation to ethics and representation seems evident. This rich supply of research is situated within an historically contentious location, with debates between consequentialist and deontological researchers (Holden, 1979) and the positivists and interpretivists (Mantzoukas, 2004), sociological research has provided varied ways of carrying out ethical and representative research. This essay shall focus on specific matters of importance, form the sociological literature, paying close attention to epistemological positionality, reflexivity, and the incorporation of reciprocal research in relation to issues of ethics and representation. More specifically, this essay…show more content…
A researcher’s epistemological assumptions will arguably guide their research in how it is carried out and this has its own implications on the ethics of research and who or what is represented (Mantzoukas, 2004). Certain epistemological positions may mean that the researcher is better equipped for specific research methods, and therefore should take this into account when focusing on their initial research design and how this may change throughout the research process. Within research, there are certain capacities to each research method in relation to what ethics need to be accounted for, and the extent or possibility of being representative. As shown by Darling for example (2014), specific qualitative research methods may allow for an attentiveness to relationships through the practicality of taking time. However, this practicality isn’t necessarily available to all researchers, and therefore the research methods of a researchers choosing, seem to drive the practice of ethics and representation e.g. ethnography allows for a negotiation of consent, whereas interviews may not allow for this. Furthermore, sociologists should be aware that their epistemological positions don’t simply allow them to ignore issues of ethics and representation. As Mantzoukas states, “issues of what or who is represented for the positivist researcher are silenced by virtue of the fact that the researcher is talking about the truth, the reality, and the laws of nature or society.” (2004: 997). When taking a positivist epistemological position for example, sociologists may seem to think that due to the more “objective” nature of their position, issues of ethics and representation are of
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