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Research has been the foundation of knowledge, truth, facts and information on various issues that affect human beings and their environment. This means that people used findings from various research processes to improve their lives and find solutions to different problems.
However, some factors affect the quality and validity of results obtained and this makes a research process biased. This means that such results will not produce credible results due to some subjective reasons. This paper explains the possibilities of conducting a credible political social research.
Credibility refers to the degree of truthfulness and appropriateness of information. A research is an activity that involves scientific processes to establish truths, find answers or solutions to problems that people face in their societies. Therefore, a social research is a process that aims at establishing facts, collecting information or generating knowledge about various happenings in the society.
Social Research, Politics and Validity
Research is systematic process that uses certain concepts to define its procedures to ensure that results obtained are credible and not biased. This means that the researcher must not take sides while collecting, analyzing or presenting the findings obtained from the field. However, this is not possible when political inclinations are used in conducting research.
David Silverman confirms that people are partisans and will always present answers, opinions or suggestions that favor their beliefs, traditions and expectations. Therefore, Silverman is right when arguing that it is not possible to obtain a credible social research in the political field since people will favor their political parties, ideologies and leaders in presenting their findings and recommendations (Silverman 22).
Secondly, political parties have different ideologies and approaches they plan to use to achieve their goals and objectives. This means that there are many views regarding events depending on the number of political parties or leaders in a state. In addition, every politician or political party will favor his/her ideology over those of others and this means that the individual will present biased research findings since he/she wants his/her views to be reflected in the research.
Therefore, it is not possible for a social research to be both political and valid. Silverman argues that human beings are very different from one another and thus they have different opinions and perspectives regarding various happenings in the society (Silverman 32). This means that even if they are given similar tools and placed in similar environments they will have different findings and conclusions even though, their research topics may be similar they will have very different answers due to personality differences.
Marx claims that people were created differently and this means that they have different thinking abilities (Marx 45). Therefore, they cannot present similar answers even if they are placed in similar societies and tasked to find answers to similar questions. In addition, he explains that even students present different answers even though they are taught by the same teachers. Therefore, it is impossible to have a political and valid social research no matter what the experience or skills of the researchers are.
However, Silverman may not be right in his arguments since there are issues he overlooks. First, he ignores the fact that research is a systematic process of collecting information, finding answers or adding knowledge to the existing one through quantitative and qualitative processes (Silverman 43).
This means that a process must follow some criteria before it is confirmed to be a research; therefore, scientific research is not just a layman’s approach to finding information or answers to situations. There are various concepts that guide scientific research and they include objectivity, reliability, replication, accuracy and validity.
Objectivity means that a researcher must not be biased and use his personal judgment, opinion or perceptions while collecting, analyzing and presenting information. Therefore, the research must reflect the happenings on the field no matter how wrong or right they seem to the researcher (Marx 47). This will enable the research to be valid. Secondly, the information collected from the field must be reliable and accurate.
This means that the data collected must represent the actual figures obtained during the research process. Names, dates and other statistics must be accurate and reflect on the actual information present on the ground. This means that a researcher must write names, dates, figures and events correctly to avoid causing confusion. Marx argues that if a researcher writes this information correctly then there are high chances of conducting a faultless research.
Finally, most social researches are replicable. This means that if a researcher follows the same procedures used by other researchers he/she will get the same results as those obtained from previous researches (Marx 47). This means that a political research can be valid if the researcher follows scientific processes in collecting and presenting the information obtained from the field and makes use of different procedures that are most appropriate for a given research. Therefore, it is possible to obtain a valid political social research.
Marx, Martins. Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing among Five Approaches. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011. Print.
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Silverman, David. Doing Qualitative Research. California: SAGE Publications, 2012. Print.