Pragmatism Research Paradigm: A Philosophical Framework of Advocating Methodological Pluralism in Social Science Research
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Social Science, Methodology, Research Paradigm, Pragmatism, Positivism


A philosophical stance in social science research informs the overall research methodology and provides the rationale to understand the philosophical underpinning of a particular research study. Due to the pivotal role of the philosophical underpinning which informs the overall research strategy, there has been growing debate among social science researchers concerning what paradigms/worldviews researchers should bring to the social science inquiry. Primarily, this paper throws light on the long lasting issue regarding the use of either positivism (quantitative) or constructivism (qualitative) research paradigm in the social science research and offers rationale pertinent to use of pragmatism (quantitative and qualitative) research paradigm in social science research. This paper argued that pragmatism, as a philosophical underpinning, facilitates mixed methods researchers to inquire into some aspects of social research with quantitative approach and some others with qualitative approach, which can contribute to achieving a consensus on conceptualizing good quality social research. This paper concludes that pragmatism philosophical approach due to its wider orientation through advocating methodological pluralism can produce socially useful knowledge which enables researchers to appreciate the complexity and unpredictability of social life.

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