UNDERSTANDING PHILOSOPHICAL ASSUMPTIONS IN SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH: A CONTRIBUTORY NOTE

Authors

  • MOHAMMED SANI DAMAMISAU
  • BASHIR ALI SULAIMAN
  • AISHATU DANJUMA ADAM
  • MUHAMMAD MUHAMMAD SALLAU
  • YUSUF ABDU GIMBA

Abstract

Abstract
Social science researchers explicitly or implicitly conduct research via certain
philosophical assumptions about the nature of the social world and how it may be
investigated. These assumptions have impact on how the social world is investigated or
methodology to obtain knowledge about it. Therefore, an important step to conducting
research in social science is identifying and choosing philosophical assumptions that will
guide the research. Despite the importance of philosophical assumptions many emerging
scholars are experiencing difculties in articulating philosophical assumptions guiding the
conduct of their investigations. Therefore, the aim of this article is to discuss in simple
terms prevailing philosophical assumptions guiding the conduct of social science
research. To achieve the aim, theoretical review of literature is undertaken to describe the
philosophical assumptions of positivism, interpretivism and pragmatic research
paradigms. Similarly, the study highlighted on the appropriate research designs
associated with each of these paradigms. In this way, the study is in addition to discussing
philosophical assumptions, contributing to guiding emerging social science researchers on
choice of appropriate research paradigms and designs consistent with chosen
philosophical assumptions. The study may be of signicance to social science researchers
especially emerging scholars in guiding them to choosing the most appropriate
philosophical assumptions that will guide their studies either from positivists,
interpretivists or pragmatic approaches. This is most important as failure to choose
appropriate philosophical assumptions may lead to obtaining different results even on the
same investigated phenomena. Likewise, highlights on pragmatic research paradigm and
its philosophical assumptions may be found useful.

Additional Files

Published

2020-07-26

Issue

Section

Articles