Social Theory: The Theory Of Validity In Social Science

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A theory is an interrelated group of variables formed into propositions or hypotheses that specify the relationship between those variables in terms of magnitude or direction (Creswell, 2008), because theories organize knowledge, they are a good way to communicate effectively (Neuman, 2014). It is a system of interconnected ideas that help condense and make meaning of knowledge about the social world, this definition sits well for social science disciplines, hence social theory (Neuman, 2014). Theories however are not static, they can be changed or modified, An example is the theory that was widely accepted in the late 20th century by many scientists that the Earth was forever increasing in volume, with their hypothesis based on phenomena like…show more content…
Validity, is based on finding if the constructed findings are accurate from the standpoint of the participant, the researcher or readers of the text (Creswell & Miller, 2000). It is often discussed under two categories, one is the internal validity, which is concerned with if a what researcher claims to be investigating is actually what they are investigating (Arksey & Knight, 1999 and Ritchie et al., 2013), and the other is external validity, which is rather concerned with the ability of participants to identify with the constructed findings and also, the constructed findings applicability over other groups of the population from which the study was conducted (Lincoln & Guba, 2000; and Ritchie et al., 2013). Questions concerning the validity of qualitative research are on issues of representation, understanding and interpretation. Hammersley (2013), considers a finding to be valid if it represents those key features of the study it is describing. For Kirk and Miller (1986), validity is when interpretation of observations are labelled exactly as the researcher identified…show more content…
Generalizability: Due to the nature of methods like in-depth studies, analysis on the relatively small sample size makes it sometimes difficult to generalise the finding and apply it to other people even in the same population (Bryman 1988), making qualitative research strength in population validity low. However, the strength is when it has a well-defined population like that of ethnographic studies, in this case, generalisation is more effective.
Researcher-subject relationship: In qualitative research methodologies, the research is required to interact with participants this has it is strengths and weaknesses. A strength of such is the interactive relationship that the researcher uses and its ability to open up participants to give first-hand experience information to the researcher with depth in meaning (Duffy, 1987). As a researcher spends more time with participants, the data are more likely to be honest and valid (Bryman, 1988). The weakness however, of such a close relationship is that the researcher is likely to become attached to their participants extending the responsibilities of the researcher and the project itself (Ramos 1989). There are cases where the researcher loses her or his awareness and becomes a participant (Bryman,

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