Biographical research is a qualitative research approach aligned to the social interpretive paradigm of research. The biographical research is concerned with the reconstruction of life histories and the constitution of meaning based on biographical narratives and documents. The material for analysis consists of interview protocols memorandums , video recordings, photographs, and a diversity of sources. These documents are evaluated and interpreted according to specific rules and criteria.
A Review of the Positivist and Interpretive Paradigms
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Idiographic and nomothetic methods represent two different approaches to understanding social life. An idiographic method focuses on individual cases or events. Ethnographers, for example, observe the minute details of everyday life to construct an overall portrait of a specific group of people or community. A nomothetic method , on the other hand, seeks to produce general statements that account for larger social patterns, which form the context of single events, individual behaviors, and experience. Sociologists who practice nomothetic research are likely to work with large survey data sets or other forms of statistical data and to conduct quantitative statistical analysis as their method of study. Nineteenth century German philosopher Wilhelm Windelband, a neo-Kantian , introduced these terms and defined their distinctions. Windelband used nomothetic to describe an approach to producing knowledge that seeks to make large-scale generalizations.
Interpretivism and Positivism (Ontological and Epistemological Perspectives)
In fact, the end of the Cold War set the stage for the rise to prominence of the constructivist school of thought in IR which caused a profound remoulding of debates within the dominant discourse of international relations theory. Such a theoretical event was prompted by a few major developments: 1 the challenging persuasion of critical theorists by leading rationalists to move beyond meta-theoretical critique of rationalism and produce substantive theories of international relations; 2 the failure of neorealists and neoliberals to predict the end of the Cold War and the consequent challenge to explanatory and analytical capacities of their theories; 3 the emergence of a new generation of critical theory-inclined scholars who moved to explore the untapped potentials of theoretical and conceptual scholarship in international relations theory; and 4 the enthusiasm shown by disappointed rational choice-oriented theorists in IR to welcome alternative constructivist perspectives. Constructivism is the view that the manner in which the material world shapes and is shaped by human action and interaction depends on dynamic normative and epistemic interpretations of the material world. More significantly, the meaning of material capabilities in terms of power is constructed on the basis of social interactions and shared understandings, that is, the latter give meaning to the former.
A complex pinwheel of L-shaped masses steps down the sloping site, enclosing a central courtyard and forming private outdoor spaces around the perimeter. Each L-shaped mass includes a bedroom suite in the upturned leg, and the associated program is organized so that the house can function as four independent apartment units with exterior entrances if family and guest arrangements warrant. Located in a wealthy suburb south of San Francisco on an oddly shaped interior lot, the project uses the irregularly arranged base program including garage, studio, and office space to fit the idealized steel-framed pavilion to the lot configuration and slope of the site. The base construction is continuous with the stone garden walls and terracing that extend out into the site.