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Critical Realism and Statistical Methods: A Response to Nash

Scott, D; (2007) Critical Realism and Statistical Methods: A Response to Nash. British Educational Research Journal , 33 (2) pp. 141-154. 10.1080/01411920701208167. Green open access

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Abstract

This article offers a defence of critical realism in the face of objections Nash (2005) makes to it in a recent edition of this journal. It is argued that critical and scientific realisms are closely related and that both are opposed to statistical positivism. However, the suggestion is made that scientific realism retains (from statistical positivism) a number of elements that result in misleading accounts of social processes and events: indicators are used which do not reflect the close relationship between structure and agency; indicators refer to reified and not real properties of both structures and agents; and indicators do not refer to causal properties of objects and entities. In order to develop a narrative of causal processes, as Nash argues researchers should, then some adjustments need to be made to the principles that underpin scientific realism.

Type: Article
Title: Critical Realism and Statistical Methods: A Response to Nash
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/01411920701208167
Additional information: This is an electronic version of an article published in Scott, David (2007) Critical Realism and Statistical Methods: A Response to Nash. British Educational Research Journal, 33 (2). pp. 141-154. British Educational Research Journal is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/10.1080/01411920701208167
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1533484
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