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You can browse or download additional books there. Theories structure and inform sociological research. So, too, does research structure and inform theory. The reciprocal relationship between theory and research often becomes evident to students new to these topics when they consider the relationships between theory and research in inductive and deductive approaches to research.
In both cases, theory is crucial. But the relationship between theory and research differs for each approach. Inductive and deductive approaches to research are quite different, but they can also be complementary. In an inductive approach Collect data, analyze patterns in the data, and then theorize from the data. At this stage, the researcher looks for patterns in the data, working to develop a theory that could explain those patterns.
Thus when researchers take an inductive approach, they start with a set of observations and then they move from those particular experiences to a more general set of propositions about those experiences. In other words, they move from data to theory, or from the specific to the general.
More than just a punctuation mark: How boys and young men learn about menstruation. Journal of Family Issues, 32 , — To understand this process, Allen and her colleagues analyzed the written narratives of 23 young men in which the men described how they learned about menstruation, what they thought of it when they first learned about it, and what they think of it now.
Enhancing empowerment and leadership among homeless youth in agency and community settings: A grounded theory approach. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 28 , 1— The authors analyzed data from focus groups with 20 young people at a homeless shelter.
From these data they developed a set of recommendations for those interested in applied interventions that serve homeless youth. The researchers also developed hypotheses for people who might wish to conduct further investigation of the topic. Though Ferguson and her colleagues did not test the hypotheses that they developed from their analysis, their study ends where most deductive investigations begin: Researchers taking a deductive approach Develop hypotheses based on some theory or theories, collect data that can be used to test the hypotheses, and assess whether the data collected support the hypotheses.
They start with a social theory that they find compelling and then test its implications with data. That is, they move from a more general level to a more specific one. A deductive approach to research is the one that people typically associate with scientific investigation. The researcher studies what others have done, reads existing theories of whatever phenomenon he or she is studying, and then tests hypotheses that emerge from those theories.
While not all researchers follow a deductive approach, as you have seen in the preceding discussion, many do, and there are a number of excellent recent examples of deductive research. Contemporary hate crimes, law enforcement, and the legacy of racial violence. American Sociological Review, 74 , — The authors developed their hypothesis from their reading of prior research and theories on the topic.
Overall, the authors found support for their hypothesis. Classroom learning environments and the mental health of first grade children. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 52 , 4— Based on prior research and theory, Milkie and Warner hypothesized that negative classroom features, such as a lack of basic supplies and even heat, would be associated with emotional and behavioral problems in children. While inductive and deductive approaches to research seem quite different, they can actually be rather complementary.
In some cases, researchers will plan for their research to include multiple components, one inductive and the other deductive. In other cases, a researcher might begin a study with the plan to only conduct either inductive or deductive research, but then he or she discovers along the way that the other approach is needed to help illuminate findings. Here is an example of each such case. In the case of my collaborative research on sexual harassment, we began the study knowing that we would like to take both a deductive and an inductive approach in our work.
We therefore administered a quantitative survey, the responses to which we could analyze in order to test hypotheses, and also conducted qualitative interviews with a number of the survey participants. The survey data were well suited to a deductive approach; we could analyze those data to test hypotheses that were generated based on theories of harassment. The inductive research aims at creating new knowledge. This usually begins with an area of interest for the researcher.
The researcher creates a research problem from this selected field and develops research questions. He then attempts to find data through his observations. A researcher can rely on various research methods in order to gather data for his research questions.
This can be interview method or observation method , or any other. In the analytical stage, the researcher attempts to search for patterns from the data.
In the final stage of the inductive research, the researcher builds the theory using his data and the identified patterns. This highlights that in inductive research a bottom-up approach is being used. Grounded theory by Glaser and Strauss can be considered as a fine example of the inductive approach in research. This is mainly because, in Grounded theory, the focus is on creating new knowledge through a cyclic process.
A researcher who steps into the field has an open mind, unbiased, and without preconceived ideas. He derives the research problem mostly from the setting itself, and the data guides him towards the creation of a new theory. Inductive research question example: What causes air pollution the most? Deductive research is quite different from inductive research as it uses a top-down approach in opposition to the inductive research.
The main difference between inductive and deductive approaches to research is that whilst a deductive approach is aimed and testing theory, an inductive approach is concerned with the generation of new theory emerging from the data.
Advantages of Deductive Approach. Deductive approach offers the following advantages: Possibility to explain causal relationships between concepts and variables; Possibility to measure concepts quantitatively; Possibility to generalize research findings to a certain extent; Alternative to deductive approach is inductive approach.
In logic, we often refer to the two broad methods of reasoning as the deductive and inductive approaches. Deductive reasoning works from the more general to the more specific. Sometimes this is informally called a "top-down" approach. We might begin with thinking up a theory about our topic of interest. Inductive Approach (Inductive Reasoning) Inductive approach, also known in inductive reasoning, starts with the observations and theories are proposed towards the end of .
Describe the inductive approach to research, and provide examples of inductive research. Describe the deductive approach to research, and provide examples of deductive research. Describe the ways that inductive and deductive approaches may be complementary. 3 Research Methods Research Types Deductive Approach Inductive Approach In research, we often refer to the two broad methods of reasoning as the deductive and inductive approaches.