On April 28, 2016, at 12 Noon EDT, I’ll be giving a free webinar on Critical Realism and Sociological Research Methods.
Every good researcher is to some extent a good theoretician. Yet, typical approaches to teaching and writing about sociological research methods emphasize data collection techniques, often to the detriment of exploring the ontological assumptions made in any research project. Critical realism consistently points to the epistemological implications of implicit ontological commitments in sociological research. Recently, critical realist scholars have paid greater attention to the methodological implications of critical realism for sociology.
In this webinar, I will illustrate how critical realism led me to reflect on the ontological assumptions and practical implications of my empirical work on vulnerability and resilience. Based on my review of classes on sociological research methods in more than 30 universities, I will also suggest concrete ways that courses on sociological research methods could incorporate modules on the philosophical foundations of research and the application of research findings to concrete cases. I will also discuss how my engagement with critical realism led me to write research articles that preserve the dramatic narrative of my cases while also analyzing causal factors interacting at multiple levels. I will argue that the best sociological research combines rigorous data collection techniques with metatheoretical and practical reflections. I have uploaded a suggested reading to the website – “Complex Causality and Mental Health” which is currently under review at the Journal of Critical Realism.
For the paper, go to: http://www.criticalrealismnetwork.org/webinars/
To read some blogs on CR and methods, see: