Critical Realism vs Social Constructionism & Social Constructivism: Application to a Social Housing Research Study

Simon P Taylor

Abstract


This paper carries out a comparative analysis of the Critical Realist, Social Constructionist and Social Constructivist paradigms and investigates the impact of both on a proposed research study into an aspect of Social Housing in the UK. An overview of each philosophy is presented which describes the background and core aspects of each philosophical position. Critical Realism, Social Constructionism and Social Constructivism are assessed to show the strengths and weaknesses of each research philosophy. The impact of Critical Realist, Social Constructionist and Social Constructivist approaches on the proposed research study are shown to identify which approach would secure the outcomes that the research project was seeking to achieve. From the analysis undertaken the Critical Realist approach was selected for the research project. The paper than outlines how this philosophical approach was to be applied to the practical research project. It concludes by making recommendations about the application of a Critical Realist approach to research within social housing.


Keywords


critical realism; social constructionism; social constructivism; philosophy; research; methodology.

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References


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