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The prefix meta connotes “after,” “about,” and “beyond,” and is often used to describe “second-order” studies. Let S denote a given type of phenomena. The study of S constitutes the first-order study S1, and the study of S1 constitutes the second-order study S2. Second-order studies are thus the study of studies. However, not all studies of studies fall into the category of metastudy. A given S1 can be a legitimate subject of such fields as history, literature, logic, and philosophy. Metastudy differs from other types of secondorder studies in that it entails a high level of reflexivity embodied in the critical self-examination by those engaged in the first-order studies. Examples of discipline-wide metastudies include metaphysics, metaanalysis, metaethnography, and metasociology.

Metastudies are mostly conducted to examine the ...

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