Mixed methods have often been presented as a «third paradigm» (Tashakkori e Teddlie, 2003; Morgan (2007), halfway between quantitative and qualitative ones. More recently, they have also been provided with a broader philosophical foundation identifiable in pragmatism, «a philosophical program for social research, regardless of whether that research uses qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods» (Morgan 2014, p. 1045), proposed as a “third way” between positivism and constructivism (Maxcy 2003, Johnson and Onwuegbuzie 2004, Morgan 2007 and 2014, Biesta 2010, Tashakkori and Teddlie 2010, Pearce 2012, Hall 2013). This (apparent) novelty has also made it attractive in evaluative research. However, are contemporary mixed methods (and the related pragmatist approach) really a third way? For example, in their empirical inquiries, will mixed method and pragmatic researchers use a classic (and positivistic) questionnaire with forced choices and close-ended answers, which are a strong limitation to an interpretative and interactional perspective? Recalling that those conventional fixed formats are responsible for many wellknown response errors and biases? Have the concepts of ‘measures’ and ‘measurement’ (and their positivistic imprinting and use), become so widespread in mixed method literature, been rethought within a pragmatic approach or only imported, underestimating several epistemological, methodological and technical problems related to measurement? While analyzing in detail the foundations of this approach, a number of theoretical and methodological difficulties of the pragmatist proposal seem to emerge precisely on the level of… research practices. Hence, although the pragmatic approach is proposed as a paradigm for the dissolution of differences and the neutralization of epistemological barriers, in practice it runs the risk of ending up reproducing the positivist paradigm in disguise, by not problematizing and reforming current research methods. The evaluator should take this into account.

Limiti dell’"approccio pragmatico" e insidie della metodologia bricolage : I metodi misti rischiano di riprodurre un’epistemologia positivista sotto mentite spoglie? / G. Gobo. - In: RIV. RASSEGNA ITALIANA DI VALUTAZIONE. - ISSN 1826-0713. - 76(2021), pp. 71-90. [10.3280/RIV2020-076005]

Limiti dell’"approccio pragmatico" e insidie della metodologia bricolage : I metodi misti rischiano di riprodurre un’epistemologia positivista sotto mentite spoglie?

G. Gobo
2021

Abstract

Mixed methods have often been presented as a «third paradigm» (Tashakkori e Teddlie, 2003; Morgan (2007), halfway between quantitative and qualitative ones. More recently, they have also been provided with a broader philosophical foundation identifiable in pragmatism, «a philosophical program for social research, regardless of whether that research uses qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods» (Morgan 2014, p. 1045), proposed as a “third way” between positivism and constructivism (Maxcy 2003, Johnson and Onwuegbuzie 2004, Morgan 2007 and 2014, Biesta 2010, Tashakkori and Teddlie 2010, Pearce 2012, Hall 2013). This (apparent) novelty has also made it attractive in evaluative research. However, are contemporary mixed methods (and the related pragmatist approach) really a third way? For example, in their empirical inquiries, will mixed method and pragmatic researchers use a classic (and positivistic) questionnaire with forced choices and close-ended answers, which are a strong limitation to an interpretative and interactional perspective? Recalling that those conventional fixed formats are responsible for many wellknown response errors and biases? Have the concepts of ‘measures’ and ‘measurement’ (and their positivistic imprinting and use), become so widespread in mixed method literature, been rethought within a pragmatic approach or only imported, underestimating several epistemological, methodological and technical problems related to measurement? While analyzing in detail the foundations of this approach, a number of theoretical and methodological difficulties of the pragmatist proposal seem to emerge precisely on the level of… research practices. Hence, although the pragmatic approach is proposed as a paradigm for the dissolution of differences and the neutralization of epistemological barriers, in practice it runs the risk of ending up reproducing the positivist paradigm in disguise, by not problematizing and reforming current research methods. The evaluator should take this into account.
methods; merged methods; measurement; epistemology; methodology; positivism
Settore SPS/07 - Sociologia Generale
Dipartimenti di Eccellenza 2018-2022 - Dipartimento di FILOSOFIA
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/881827
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