This innovative introduction to research in the social sciences guides students and new researchers through the maze of research traditions, cultures of inquiry and epistemological frameworks. It introduces the underlying logic of ten cultures of inquiry: ethnography; quantitative behavioral science; phenomenology; action research; hermeneutics; evaluation research; feminist research; critical social science; historical-comparative research; and theoretical research. It clarifies conceptual and intellectual traditions in research, and puts researchers firmly in the investigative saddle - able to choose, justify, and explain the intellectual framework and personal rationale of their research.

Hermeneutic Inquiry and Ethnography

Hermeneutic inquiry and ethnography

The term hermeneutics simply means “the art and science of interpretation.” The term derives from the Greek god Hermes, messenger of the gods, who was killed for bringing unwelcome news to the community. (The phrase “don't kill the messenger” comes from this.)

Hermeneutics was brought into broad usage by theologians, such as Schleiermacher, to interpret the Bible. As the conditions of modern society and culture differed so considerably from those of the Bible, the need for interpretation of the text in order to discover and apply its meaning in the modern context became increasingly clear. For people living within a Christian frame of reference, this need for interpretation was essential if they were to be able to live a ...

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