While philosophical concepts are not largely obvious in research (Slife and Williams, 1995), they nevertheless affect research practice and should be detected. Any researcher must reveal clearly the main philosophical ideas they promote and help explain reasons research approaches are chosen. Guba (1990) used “worldview” as a set of beliefs that guide action in research undertaking. Lincoln, Lynham, and Guba (2011) have coined them as paradigms; Crookes (2012) epistemology and ontology and Neuman (2013) as broadly conceived research methodology.
Willis (2007) defined paradigm as a comprehensive belief system, worldview, or framework that guides research and practice in a field (p.8). Any research aims at discovering something about the world through experiments, hypothesis-testing, observations etc. (Seltman, 2012, p. 34). However, the most important research approaches to acquire knowledge are positivist and interpretive strategies
Positivism is crucially aligned to ‘scientific method’ because positivists understand social sciences can be as strictly scientific as the natural sciences where theories and hypotheses are generated and then tested by using direct observation or empirical studies. Moreover, positivists use quantitative approaches, believe in objective and value-free research. Interpretivism, on the other hand, acknowledges the world that it is ‘socially constructed’ in which knowledge is not objective and value-free, but is conveyed through thoughts, discussions and experiences. Accordingly, using interpretivist research strategies make it challenging to see beyond personal preconceptions and experiences. While a scientific methodology permits to acquire objective, reliable and generalisable information that is more beneficial to sociological theory.