Social Constructivist Epistemology

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This paper highlights some principles and theories of research paradigm mainly focus on epistemological issues in the development research arenas and critical assessment of the role of researchers (positionality/value/choice) in that process and I presents my position (i.e. constructivist epistemology) in the debate. Finally, concluding remarks will be made.
As many studies have shown that development research paradigm was highly dominated by positivistic approaches (Sumner and Tribe, 2004). The trend in the research environment was characterized by the predomination of standard methods that are imposed top - down (Chambers, 2010). The participation of social scientists that are not economists was highly limited in the research process.
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I begin my discussion by spelling out what mean by epistemology. The concept of epistemology is related to "the relationship between the knower and what can be known" (Guba and Lincoln, 1994: 108). Epistemology is defined as " [...] [T]he branch of philosophy that is concerned with the nature, origin, scope of knowledge and 'how we know what we know' " (Sumner and Tribe, 2004: 11).
In respective of epistemology from my understanding and as many literatures also indicated mostly positivist researchers operate under different epistemological assumptions from constructivist researchers. For instance, positivist approach believes that knowledge is only produced through scientific approach. And reality is independent of any phenomena; facts are established by taking apart a phenomenon to examine its component parts. Yet from my experiences I argue that the alternative view i.e. social constructivist approaches is best because they believe that the best way to understand any phenomenon is to view it in its context. They see all quantification as limited in nature,
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This can tell us even from the same context realities will vary because the ways people view the world are not always the same. There is no strict description of reality. To know the reality of particular circumstance the first thing is understanding about it. And understanding requires interaction then through process of the interaction between us the circumstance/researched familiarity will exist. Then we let the data to speak by itself about the reality yet the role researcher and the researched is crucial to construct reality. Let look at the research work of David Dollar and Aart Kraay are two World Bank economists, who have published a number of studies using cross country quantitative analysis based on econometrics. One of their research is growth is good for the poor was originally released as World Bank working paper (Dollar and Kraay, 2000). In contrast to growth is good for the poor, the voice of the poor by Narayan is broader epistemologically. Because his view of is much broader in terms of addressing non-economic dimensions of security, vulnerability

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