Critical Realism and Qualitative Research in Psychology
Willis, M. 2022. Critical Realism and Qualitative Research in Psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology.
Qualitative researchers wishing to circumnavigate the limitations of positivism, on the one hand, and strong constructionism, on the other, tend to be attracted to critical realism (CR), which offers a middle ground between the two: CR combines ontological realism and epistemological relativism. As a philosophical position for qualitative research, CR has been adopted by researchers utilising diverse data collection and analytic methods. However, there are at least two distinct approaches claiming the CR name: one developed by Joseph Maxwell, with qualitative research specifically in mind, and one developed by Roy Bhaskar and colleagues, as a general philosophy of natural and social sciences. In this paper I compare these two forms of CR on four dimensions, which on the surface they appear to share: (1) what does “critical” mean; (2) epistemological relativism; (3) ontological realism; (4) causality. It is obvious that, below the surface when the details are examined, the two approaches to CR differ considerably on at least the last three dimensions, if not all four. I propose four reasons for preferring Bhaskar’s CR over Maxwell’s CR, arguing the former is more appropriate for qualitative research in psychology.
|Keywords||philosophy of science; ontology; epistemology; qualitative research; critical realism; Roy Bhaskar; Joseph Maxwell|
|Journal||Qualitative Research in Psychology|
|Publisher||Taylor & Francis|
|Accepted author manuscript|
File Access Level
|Publication process dates|
|Accepted||08 Dec 2022|
|Deposited||08 Dec 2022|
|Copyright holder||© 2022 Taylor & Francis|
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Qualitative Research in Psychology on [In Press], available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/
Accepted author manuscript
8views this month
0downloads this month