Positivism, Post-Positivism, Constructivism, Critical, Post-Structuralism

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Positivism, Constructivism, Critical, Structuralism
  • Positivism
  • Post Positivism
  • Constructivism
  • Critical
  • Post Structural
  • Philosophy
  • Axiology – Nature & Status
  • Ethics
  • Aesthetics
  • Ontology – what is really real
  • Epistemology – study of knowledge


Positivism Theory
Reality is there & understandHow world is ordered, knower is distinct from worldLogic, Disengage, absoluteExperiment, Survey, CorrelationFacts theoriesBiology


  • Absolute truth to discover
  • Objective
  • Generalisable
  • Replicable
  • Scientific
  • Does not means optimism – like red flowers but test report can be positive
  • Data Robot (Star Trek) , Sophia Robot, Spock (Star Trek) – Only logical
  • Delhi – I can measure climate, population, history, demographics – compete picture of London with better tools.
  • Frontliners – found data, applied science, research and give suggestions (country wise analysis) – Impact of Covid-19


Really exist, limit to our capabilitiesApproximation of realityReason, dispassionate, universalQualitative methods, frequency and statisticsGeneralizations, grounded theoryPsychology


Post Positivism
  • What is Nature of reality?
  • Reality is there but there might be limits to our ability to capture it
  • Researcher is not perfect – approximations
  • Karl Popper – feasibility – all swans are white but 1 single black swan can disprove the theory that all swans are white.
  • Reason, neutral and universal – Picard (Captain of Star Trek) , Chandragupta Maurya, Akbar heard of Birbal
  • Post-positivism – Delhi is sprawling – growing – picture is never complete even if we say Delhi is growing – it՚s easier to say what it is not
  • Front Liners – Get feedback from everyone, reject some and prepare a plan (Impact of Covid-19) – one path for everyone – PPE for all, isolation, quarantine


Multiple realities are constructed, made by people in social waysKnowledge as human constructionRationality, human, contextualNaturalistic qualitativeCase studies, narrativesPsychoanalysis


Constructivism Theory
  • Context dependent
  • Socially constructed
  • Subjective
  • Understand context and experience
  • Reality is made by people in social ways and it is not a product of mutual understanding
  • Knowledge is co-conducted – researcher is involved in research – building theory and sharing and participants
  • Rationality, Human and contextual – Martin Luther, BR Ambedkar, Nelson Mandela (how they grew) , John Rawls Theory of Justice
  • Meaning b/w cultures – world is not black and white but shades of grey
  • Delhi City as human activity hub – complex multiple communities – local communities
  • Front liners - problems faced and facilities that we can give (Impact of Covid-19) – suggestions will not be same for all – separate for all (red, orange, green … . Village/city/tribal … . Congested/uncongested) . Decision at individual level with numerous suggestions


Critical Theory
Power relations - difference in race, class, gender, produced by tensionsKnowledge is value laden & politicalCritique, social justice, transformativeTransformative inquiryValue mediated critiquesSociology


Critical Theory
  • Critical Theory - Chanakya, Martin Luther King
  • Reality is product of power relations and it is produced through these tensions
  • Social relations
  • Knowledge is political and value laden
  • Idea is to change it
  • Social justice
  • Critique, social justice and transformative
  • Delhi as a seat of power – inequality of rich and poor and power pushing towards nation – Delhi must change for better
  • Frontliners – change system for doctors and bring robots (Impact of Covid-19) – how much work is mechanical or repetitive
  • Transformative inquiry is a theoretical model designed to facilitate the inquiry of important and meaningful relationships

Post Structuralism

Post Structuralism
Ascribe meaning to meaningless worldNo truth to be known, Knowledge is contextualDiscursive, narrativeDeconstruction

Multi-voiced studies

GenealogiesLiterary Analysis

Gender Studies

Post Structuralism

Life is product of discourse – stories we tell

Individual Studies

  • John Dewey – education is different for all – progressive education
  • Rabindranath Tagore – Shanti Niketan (individual story)
  • Delhi City – not stable construct but Idea that evolved over time and means different things to different people. Not understood as one thing but mix and mess of ideas.
  • Front liners – family issue – life of each doctor (Impact of Covid-19)
  • Deconstruction: A deconstructive approach to criticism involves discovering, recognizing and understanding the underlying and unspoken and implicit assumptions, ideas and frameworks of cultural forms such as works of art
  • A discursive approach enables you to explore the construction of meanings in human interaction.
Individual Studies
Individual Studies
PositivismOne reality or TruthKnowledge is measured
ConstructivismMultiple realitiesReality must be Interpreted
Post StructuralismMeaning to MeaninglessContextual & unstable

✍ Manishika