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The Dilemma of Qualitative Method: Herbert Blumer and the by Martyn Hammersley PDF

By Martyn Hammersley

ISBN-10: 0203392906

ISBN-13: 9780203392904

ISBN-10: 0203396693

ISBN-13: 9780203396698

ISBN-10: 0415017726

ISBN-13: 9780415017725

The dispute over the worth of qualitative as opposed to quantitative methods to social study originated in nineteenth and early 20th-century debates concerning the dating among the tools of heritage and traditional technological know-how. inside sociology, this dispute first arose within the usa in the course of the Twenties and Nineteen Thirties, among adherents of "case learn" and statistical tools. one of many major advocates of case learn used to be the Chicago sociologist, Herbert Blumer. His influential writings on method offer a hyperlink among this past controversy and the debates of later many years. notwithstanding, Blumer's arguments for qualitative or "naturalistic" tools, keep a valuable ambivalence - does that strategy proportion an analogous common sense as typical technology, or does it symbolize a unique kind of enquiry attribute of background and the arts? That factor keeps to underlie discussions of qualitative strategy, and provokes basic questions about the approaches hired by means of qualitative researchers. "The issue of Qualitative procedure" is a consultant to this key quarter of social study method. the writer sketches the old content material of the dispute and offers an in depth account and systematic research of Blumer's methodological writings, together with his doctoral thesis. The ideas for qualitative study recommended by way of Blumer and others in the Chicago culture are reviewed and assessed.

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Extra info for The Dilemma of Qualitative Method: Herbert Blumer and the Chicago Tradition

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Let me begin by trying to sketch the general shape of pragmatism as a set of philosophical ideas, with the proviso that in various respects this sketch misrepresents individual pragmatists, among whom there were serious disagreements. Pragmatism is a combination of two main tendencies. On the one hand, there is the belief that experience is the starting point and the terminus for all knowledge. 2 Furthermore, like the historicists, the pragmatists viewed experience not as a sequence of isolated sensations but as a world of interrelated phenomena that we take for granted in everyday life.

It is a shared world too, not something internal and subjective. The other component of pragmatism is the idea that humanity must be understood as part of the natural world, and that this includes what was taken to be the most distinctively human phenomenon: rational thought. PRAGMATISM 43 The pragmatists believed that philosophical problems can often be resolved by examining the function of thinking in humanity’s adjustment to its environment; in other words by studying its function in nature.

For in inner experience the processes of one thing acting on another, and the connections of functions or individual members of psychic life into a whole are also given. The experienced whole is primary here, the distinction among its members only comes afterwards. It follows from this that the methods by means of which we study psychic life, history, and society are very different from those which have led to the knowledge of nature. (Dilthey 1894:27–8) Like the positivists, Dilthey rejected speculative metaphysics, but, like other historicists, he did not accept that the methods of natural science were an appropriate model for history and the social sciences.

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The Dilemma of Qualitative Method: Herbert Blumer and the Chicago Tradition by Martyn Hammersley


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