What is Interpretive Research?. Geoff Walsham Lecture 1 of Course on Interpretive Research in IS - Oslo University. Contents of Lecture 1. Definitions of interpretive research Views of data, ontology, knowledge and theory/practice link Philosophical traditions
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Lecture 1 of Course on Interpretive Research in IS - Oslo University
‘Interpretive studies assume that people create and associate their own subjective and intersubjective meanings as they interact with the world around them. Interpretive researchers thus attempt to understand phenomena through accessing the meanings participants assign to them’
‘Interpretive methods of research start from the position that our knowledge of reality, including the domain of human action, is a social construction by human actors and that this applies equally to researchers. Thus there is no objective reality which can be discovered by researchers and replicated by others, in contrast to the assumptions of positivist science’
‘What we call our data are really our own constructions of other people’s constructions of what they and their compatriots are up to’
‘Social process is not captured in hypothetical deductions, covariances and degrees of freedom. Instead, understanding social process involves getting inside the world of those generating it’
‘The research described in this book has elements of both the interpretive and critical traditions … and does not fit in one of these two categories … theories, such as structuration theory, are indeed an attempt to dissolve the boundaries between such traditions, in emphasizing not only the importance of subjective meanings for the individual actor, but also the social structures which condition and enable such meanings and are constituted by them’