Qualitative Psychology And The New Pluralism

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Book Chapter

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Published In

Situating Qualitative Methods In Psychological Science


The burgeoning of the qualitative movement—both in psychology and the social sciences more generally—represents a major transformation in the landscape of inquiry. Reflection on this movement, both its potentials and its problems, is essential. In the present offering, I focus on a particularly significant characteristic of the qualitative movement thus far, its profound pluralism. At the outset, it is important to recognize the dependency of this movement on the deterioration of logical empiricism in social science research, and the absence of any foundational replacement. Thus, qualitative researchers have been liberated not only to employ research practices from multiple traditions, but to create a steady stream of new practices. These practices vary in their ontological suppositions, their epistemologies, and their value orientations. As I propose, however, this pluralist palette is vital to psychology, in its expanding our dimensions of understanding, opening options for action, and stimulating ethical reflection.

Published By



B. Schiff

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