The following essay discuss the concept of positionality and how this may impact on any research one undertake. I have try to discuss all different concepts of Positionality and critically review…as I have try to explain that how they all are interrelated to each other and how can we apply all theories as a whole . How each standard theory contradict the other and made the study very complex one.
The essay discusses the concept of positionality and how this may impact on any research one undertake. I have try to explain that how they all are interrelated to each other and how can we apply all theories as a whole . How each standard theory contradicts the other and made the study very complex one. How it is very important to consider the positionality of a researcher and how his own race, gender ethnicity and many other factors can affect any research and its result. INTRODUCTION
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The simple English meaning of positionality is “your place in space” A position of marketing researcher is very important aspect its so important that a hard time consuming research will go in vain if the positionality of a researcher is not known or not understood. Or not undertaken into consideration. As we all know that an human being changes according to his one position and understanding one human play many different role e. g. one men can play as father, manger, a husband, a son, a student and during all these different roles he is playing his speech his thinking his ideas his words his tone changes accordingly.
Now when he is doing his research his thinking his preconceived ideas his background plays very important role in his result . Positionality has a strong impact on any research bad research is when one ignore His own positionality The ultimate result of research depends on all the factors which are influencing at that time the mind of the subject. LITRATURE REVIEW Any research has two main stages one is collection of information and second drawing conclusion on the basis of that collected information. Now this above mentioned stages are very important and changes according to positionality of a researcher.
Main paradigm axis consist o f three main axis where each axis deals with the philosophical overview of what is accepted to be ‘scientific’Lets discuss each paradigm one by one The positivist—interpretivist concern more on different kind of knowledge . Positivism is the philosophy which is a factual knowledge come only from accepting which ha s through strict scientific method. Speculation imagination of any sort is avoided. Developed by Auguste Comte in mid 19th century. Comte attempted to prove that human development has to go through these three stages it seems that the positivist stage is far from becoming a realization.
This is due to two truths. The positivist phase requires having complete understanding of the universe and world around us and requires that society should never know if it is in this positivist phase. One may argue that the positivist phase could not be reached unless one were God thus reverting to the first and initial phase; or that humanity is constantly using science to discover and research new things leading one back to the second metaphysical phase. Thus, some believe Comte’s positivism to be circular. [ . “Comte’s ideas of positivism have intrigued many.
Within years of his book (A General View Of Positivism (1856) )other scientific and philosophical thinkers began creating their own definitions for Positivism. They included Emile Zola, Emile Hennequin, Wilhelm Scherer, and Dimitri Pisarev so nicely describe by Einstein “Imagination is more important than knowledge. ” Positivism has been criticize for its being very physical it denies many theories which are hypothetical and can not been seen or has no evidence as if u think of human behviour and human psychology one can not explain if we are only positivist, positivism has been also crucified by religious leader.. nd so many sociologist keep themselves in between positivism and anti positivism. as in simple words of karl Popper “Science may be described as the art of systematic over-simplification” On the other side of the positivism lies interpretivism . which mainly rely on datas , F Taylor explain that work deserve syatamatic observation and any research can be split down to smallest possible component the other pioneer of interpretivisit P Duhem challenge Newton on his third law and stated that “For any given set of observations there are an innumerably large number of explanations. Thus empirical evidence cannot force the revision of a theory. The other axis of paradigm has consist of rationalist and empiricist , the main debate between two is about studying nature and sources and limits of knowledge. What is the nature of proposition, whats the source of knowledge ? which is of the main concern? John Locke(Carruthers, Human Nature and Human Knowledge, p. 55) is considerd as the first empiricist philosopher said wisely “No man’s knowledge here can go beyond his experience. While rationalist Immanuel Kant is famous for his quote “All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason. ” If you see both are right at their place both have their place in real social world as the world is progressing and more and more human brain is wondering in meta physics we just cant completely eradicate intuition/ deduction theory as we all know now world is beyond five senses The third axis describe two different school of thinking theses are Constructivist and Reductionist.
Constructivism is a theory based on scientific theory that explain how people learn according to which People Construct their knowledge step by step with their collection of ideas and knowledge in their life now I feel reductionist and rationalism are quite related to each other while reductionist try to explain by slicing step by step to its smallest part. MAIN ARGUMENT
As I have studied science at my undergraduate level I believe we cant explain any research by sticking to one class of paradigm any research can be concluded if its based only on Interpretive or positivism both as for me experiments are vital to prove anything but many hypothesis can not t be just rejectd as they cannot be explain with any simple experiment.
Science itself is complex an d when we talk of Market and its research don’t forget we r dealing with Human which is more complex than any complicated science formula we rdealing with machine which has soul( again can not be proved with any experiment) emotions ( thousand of thesis written on Psychology) feelings’ men can undergoes many emotions in just time period of 10 min. and when we talk of this Men as an object for any market research we just cant fit them in any one philosophical paradigm and explain why he behaves sometime the way he behaves.
Social behavior of an human is diverse and has multidimensional characterstics and choosing of methodology for one research has to be decided carefully. Human research is more exciting and more satisfying as there are so many methods available still you just can not choose it randomly and than above all position of a market researcher his thinking his philosophy his paradigm just can not be ignored.
Again position will depend on methodology there can not be any hard and fast rule about position of a researcher for one particular method. Now when we talk of research and human we have to again consider many other factors like gender, race, culture, environment, attitude, ,histories, social class, values and mnay other characteristics. Different methods adopted for research are observation, interview, Survey research, Question experiments field experiments, evaluation research.
As we all know human has purpose and they think an d their thought process decides the word they speak, they can argue or agree they interpret according to their philosophy and answer according to their paradigm. If as a researcher we could just ignore their purpose and motives our work will be simpler but as u know words without understanding motives has no meaning. The inner thought is very important before judging or interpreting your data.
Every human think differently if you r doing research on some food item or lets say a dish which you have newly introduce in your hotel If you take survey of 10 different people all of them will give different opinion depend on their own taste some will find it spicy while some will say the taste is just perfect, some will mention the price while some will talk about its presentation…so its quite obvious every person react according to his situation his taste and his believe. So what method you will adopt? what is the situation ?
How much quantitative data is important ? What method will you choose? You hav eto consider all these before reaching any conclusion and he most important where is your position at the time? I will just present one case study happens during my time as a teacher in a school I wanted to find out reaction of my student as I introduce a new marking system Two years back when I was teaching in a school where we had a simple method of marking three terms each terms comprises of one test and one examall written .
I thought of changing it I introduced written assignment instead of test in the first term practical exam in second term and presentation in the third term. When I tried to question my students that what are their ideas about it I got all different answers students who were serious in studies and very sincere they did not like this idea as they thought now other students will copy the assignments and get better marks , while some students who didn’t like just reading text ut preferred more practical knowledge they appreciated it as they thought they will give them the chance to exhibit their skills, while students who were lazy they were cool and moderate. Now in this case my positionality played a very important role as when same questionnaire was conducted by principal of the school he found that 90% were happy with the new exam system introduce by me .
I realized that here since Principal had different image in the school and students being in awe with him did not contradict his ideas while as I was their teachers and also their class teacher they were more open to me. I studied another interesting case just few days back in which I read an article in a news paper ( City Am 15/07/08) about public sector they found that only one in five people in Uk believe public sector is well run Most of tehm believed that they have not been given the fair deal.
Now here again the position of researcher can be challenged for His interpretation What was his own ideas, has he asked the direct question or has he just passed the questionnaire on the basis of his own assumption has he himself influenced the answer of public ( it can be call1ed as an ethical question too) Once reviewing a pertinent research, a psychologist Robert Zajonc( 1965) discovered a single thread of consistency in the results. ” The learning of new response always seemed to be inhibited by the presence of others, whereas the performance of familiar responses seemed to be facilitate by others. He argued that their is general class of psychological processes known to increase the likelihood of dominant response. and sometime this dominant response may be incorrect one and what if its presence of a researcher which is influencing the chain of thought of the person specially if its target group or an interview. The answer to the question asked by an interviewer ( researcher) answer given sometime but not quite what actually they want to say. It is true, that the interviewer and respondent arrives with their own baggage of histories, personalities, attitude, and values.
It Is also true they differ in their gender , age, race, social class, and a variety of other characteristics. And sometimes these different plays a very important role ……but lets think when? There has been long research and history of relevant rsearch on this issues. Benney Riesman and Star ( 1956) concluded that when interview questions turned to sexual habits inhibited least communication occurs but when both interviewer and respondent were of the same sex and young age the discussion could occur in more relax manner.
A black researcher can obtained more information from other black about racial discrimination and resentment than if its a white correspondent. Its evident that interviewer effects the respondents and his answers imagine a ruling part representive who has been torturing public starts asking the opinion of voters at exit poll do u expect them to tell them that they have not voted the ruling party. And my personal experience women can take out more out of people than her male colleague( sorry no gender discrimaination) female can easily take out more emotional side of another person.. ay be that’s the reason why Oprah Winfray show is so entertaining In a qualitative interview, the interviewer has freedom and can adapt the questions according to flow of the talk , as long as the general purpose of the interview is adhered to. That’s why an outlined of the general question are written down as a guideline, and the respondent is encouraged to discource on the topics related researcher can change the direction of talk if He feels that talk is going hay wire.
For analytic purpose the talk can be recorded and judge my be by the third person. I remember coming across one published paper while doing my search for this essay it was titled as “Researcher positionality and political-temporal contingency in a post apartheid research environment” by Gustav Visserit is very interesting paper the writer has explain why he was not able to position his black interviewees via any trade unions or from civic moment.
He had explain that “the Black councilors (often as the representatives of the townships) have to realistically balance the enormous needs of the communities they represent, against a limited local government resource baseThis means making choices, many of which cannot satisfy the multiple needs of their supporters. In this case, the possibility of an informative interview was nearly impossible.
An added problem in this group related to my home language and possible background, which was immediately evident in my name and accent. ” “But the impact could be more divese and differentiated than only a particular type of researcher with a particular background experiencing problems in collecting information regarding a particular tier of governance. As the research context in South Africa (beyond local government) is racially, culturally, economically and socially highly ifferentiated, this concern potentially stretches beyond my personal positionality. Thus, I suggest that researchers with different personal profiles to my own might experience different categories of informants differently but still find that on balance the “insider-outsider” binary remains unstable vis a vis the “researched”. This I contend makes not only my “own researcher category” potentially “outsiders” but might apply to multiple researcher categories. ”
Another important methodology adopted by researcher is Focus group which is group of six to ten people who are willing to discuss the concepts of interest here chose of members of group as important as the position of the researcher. Here a researcher can fire some question and once the dialogue between the group starts he can sit and I will prefer record the discussion. He has to play a very important role as when to just sit quietly and listen an d when to participate himself if he thinks that the talk is going in different direction.
He has to do lot of work before the group is collected he has to have the background of each participant, questionnaire which has to b answered selection of memebres for the group has to be carefully done and their gender, language race , ethical background has to be take care of again it depend on the topics of discussion. CONCLUSION So it can be said very clearly that any research is incomplete if the position of researcher is not mentioned or one can say that in any research th epositionality , race, gender, sex, language ethnicity of researcher can not be ignored..
I end up my essay with on e of the quote of Einstein “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them” REFERENCES •http://www. nyu. edu/classes/bkg/methods/019469Ch5. pdf •ttps://www. anu. edu. au/people/Roger. Clarke/Res/53-Int. ppt •Ayer, A. J. Language, Truth and Logic (New York: Dover Publications, 1952). •Carruthers, P. Human Knowledge and Human Nature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992). •Descartes, R. Rules for the Direction of our Native Intelligence (1628), Descartes: Selected Philosophical Writings, transl.
John Cottingham, Robert Stoothoff and Dugald Murdoch(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988). •Descartes, R. Meditations (1641), Descartes: Selected Philosophical Writings, transl. John Cottingham, Robert Stoothoff and Dugald Murdoch (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988). •(Carruthers, Human Nature and Human Knowledge, p. 55) •A General View Of Positivism (1856) •City Am Tuesday 15July 2008; page 7 •Researcher positionality and political-temporal contingency in a post apartheid research Environment; Gustav Viss 1