What is qualitative secondary analysis? How can it be most effectively applied in social research? This timely and accomplished book offers readers a well informed, reliable guide to all aspects of qualitative secondary analysis. The book: Defines secondary analysis. Distinguishes between quantitative and qualitative secondary analysis. Maps the main types of qualitative secondary analysis. Covers the key ethical and legal issues. Offers a practical guide to effective research. Sets the agenda for future developments in the subject. Written by an experienced researcher and teacher with a background in sociology, the book is a comprehensive and invaluable introduction to this growing field of social research.

Positivism and Realism

The approach of positivism to the social world in social research is similar, but not identical, to how the natural sciences approach the physical world, i.e. combining mainly deductive logic with empirical and predominantly quantitative methods in order to seek generally applying regularities, whereas realism assumes only the existence of a social world external to the researcher which can be accessed through the sense and reserach.

Section Outline: Rejecting ‘positivism’. Positivism: knowledge; reasoning and values. Realism knowing the external world. Interpretation: the process of knowing the social world. ‘Natural science methods’. Deductive reasoning. Falsification and confirmation of hypotheses. Qualitative methods' hidden positivism.

It became fashionable during the 1980s to ‘reject positivism’. Articles appeared which did not offer a critique of positivism, but dismissed it ...

locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles