These activities include brainstorming activities, further reading, weblinks to external sites, and enable you to examine and relect upon the methods of both real-world studies and the methods chosen by fictional nursing and midwifery students introduced in chapter one.
Activity 3.1: Further Reading on Research Paradigms
For more detailed background reading about research paradigms see:
Dykes, F. (2004) What are the foundations of qualitative research? in Lavender, T. Edwards, G. Alfirevic, Z. Demystifying Qualitative Research in Pregnancy and Childbirth. Salisbury: MA Healthcare Ltd.
Weaver, K. Olson, J.K. (2006) Understanding paradigms used for nursing research. Journal of Advanced Nursing 53(4): 459–469.
Activity 3.2: Feminist Paradigms
For more detailed background reading about the paradigm of feminism see:
Webb, C. (1984) Feminist methodology in nursing research. Journal of Advanced Nursing 9: 249–256.
Yuill, O. (2012) Feminism as a theoretical perspective for research in midwifery. British Journal of Midwifery 20(1): 36–40.
Activity 3.3: Research Paradigms in Your Own Experience
Which paradigms have you encountered most frequently in the studies you have read and have encountered in practice? Why do you think this paradigm appears to be most frequently used?
Activity 3.4: Research Paradigms in Real Research
Read the following paper which provides an insight to research paradigms in action:
Tay, L.H. Ang, E. and Hegney, D. (2012) Nurses’ perceptions of the barriers in effective communication with inpatient cancer adults in Singapore. Journal of Clinical Nursing 21(17–18): 2647–2658.
Activity 3.5: Tensions between Research Paradigms
The class of 2016 have been asked to consider the tensions between the three research paradigms of positivism, interpretivism and pragmatism. They have been asked to decide if these tensions are real or contrived. What do you think?
As we have discussed in Chapter 3, some people are more comfortable with one research paradigm than any of the others. The class of 2016 have been asked to consider which, if any, research paradigm they feel most closely aligned with.
Richie and Jasmine feel more comfortable with the paradigm of positivism. They feel that objectivity is essential when conducting research and can relate to the notion of cause and effect.
Amy and Charles are more drawn towards interpretivism. They feel that when research involves humans, there can be no one interpretation, truth or meaning because each individual will interpret their experiences in their own way.
What are your thoughts and feelings about research paradigms? Which do you think you are most aligned with at this stage? Summarise in a short paragraph which approach you feel most comfortable with and why.