While philosophical concepts are not largely obvious in research (Slife and Williams, 1995), they nevertheless influence research practice and should be detected. Researchers must plainly reveal their key philosophical concepts they promote and help explain reasons why research approaches are chosen. The term “worldview” meaning is “a set of beliefs that guide research” (Guba 1990). Lincoln, Lynham, and Guba (2011) have coined them as paradigms; Crookes (2012) epistemology and ontology and Neuman (2013) as broadly conceived research methodology.
Willis (2007) defined paradigm as “a comprehensive belief system, worldview, or framework that informs research and practice in a field” (p.8). Any research aims at discovering something about the world through experiments, hypothesis testing, observations etc. (Seltman, 2012, p.
34). However, the most significant research strategies to acquire knowledge are positivist and interpretive approaches. Positivism is crucially linked to ‘scientific method’ because positivists understand social sciences can be as strictly scientific as the natural sciences where theories and hypotheses are generated and then tested by using direct observation or empirical studies.
Moreover, positivists use quantitative approaches, believe in objective and value-free research. Interpretivism, on the other hand, acknowledges the world that it is ‘socially constructed’ in which knowledge is not objective and value-free, but is conveyed through thoughts, discussions and experiences. Accordingly, using interpretivist research strategies make it challenging to see beyond personal preconceptions and experiences.
While a scientific methodology permits to acquire objective, reliable and generalisable information that is more beneficial to sociological theory.