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Critical Realism and Statistical Methods: A Response to Nash

Scott, David (2007) Critical Realism and Statistical Methods: A Response to Nash. British Educational Research Journal, 33 (2). pp. 141-154. ISSN 0141-1926

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Abstract

This article offers a defence of critical realism in the face of objections Nash (2005) makes to it in a recent edition of this journal. It is argued that critical and scientific realisms are closely related and that both are opposed to statistical positivism. However, the suggestion is made that scientific realism retains (from statistical positivism) a number of elements that result in misleading accounts of social processes and events: indicators are used which do not reflect the close relationship between structure and agency; indicators refer to reified and not real properties of both structures and agents; and indicators do not refer to causal properties of objects and entities. In order to develop a narrative of causal processes, as Nash argues researchers should, then some adjustments need to be made to the principles that underpin scientific realism.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an electronic version of an article published in Scott, David (2007) Critical Realism and Statistical Methods: A Response to Nash. British Educational Research Journal, 33 (2). pp. 141-154. British Educational Research Journal is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/10.1080/01411920701208167
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Learning, Curriculum and Communication
IOE Departments > Departments > Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
Depositing User: IOE Repository Editor (2)
Date Deposited: 27 May 2010 15:16
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2013 11:57
URI: http://eprints.ioe.ac.uk/id/eprint/5569

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