Trends In Social Science Research

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RECENT TRENDS IN EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH

INTRODUCTION India has been characterized by a well-established long tradition of sound research in Educational as well as physical and natural sciences. There are a good number of social science research institutions, some of which come under the umbrella of a national body called Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) and some of which are funded by government(s) directly. Research traditions in the university departments are also strong and vibrant. Research both at doctoral and post-doctoral levels is highly respected, and financially supported by state. In all, the ICSSR, the University Grants Commission and Department/Ministry of Education at national and state levels have been the principal
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The emphasis has been on policy relevant research, as against what is characterized as 'abstract ' research. Researchers are asked repeatedly to highlight the policy relevance (use) of their research proposals, and to highlight (preferably in a separate chapter, besides in short abstracts and executive summaries) policy implications of their concluded studies. Thus prescriptive research is more valued than analytical research. The prescriptions, however, tend to be more generalized, non-controversial, than location/region specific. As the phenomenon of policy use dominates the whole research scene, it is not surprising to find condemnation of 'other ' research as 'academic ' research, or 'professional ' research, if not as…show more content…
In the name of inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary research, researchers specialise in no specific area. Inter-disciplinary or multi-disciplinary research can be (or should be) evolutionary in nature. After a researcher develops thorough professional expertise in one discipline, he/she may be able to know the strengths and weaknesses of the particular discipline to explain a particular phenomenon, and thereby realise the need to cut across the boundaries of the given discipline, and to use research and other tools relating to other necessary disciplines.

In such a case, one discipline becomes a core discipline in which the researcher has sufficient expertise, and other disciplines complement the core one in analysing and explaining a particular phenomenon. In the recent past, such an evolutionary process is by-passed, and as a result, the researcher more often becomes a jack of all trades and master of none.

Another interesting trend in this context worth noting is crossing of disciplines. Even before one tries to understand his or her discipline somewhat in depth, the researcher frequently crosses over to other disciplines, in response to the needs of the consulting firms, but in the process loses the ground on which he/she could have firmly and somewhat confidently stood, and can never become an expert in the discipline he/she crossed to. A distinction may be made between branching into a specialisation in a core discipline and
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