Re: Who benefits? 2

Hemant Desai (
Tue, 20 Sep 1994 21:46:11 -0500 (CDT)

Graham Stead wrote:
> With regard to who benefits from it all, I wish to add that
> qualitative methodologies promote the notion of "no more experts"
> (Lather, 1991) in that participants (no longer subjects!) are also
> involved in interpreting and giving meaning to research findings. The
> researcher is not seen as all powerful and controlling the truth and
> I suppose this feeling of lack of control (and "lack of objectivity")
> is most disconcerting to modernists.

Absolutely. An excellent example of a theory that is sound but is found
disconcerting by the establishment would be George Kelly's work (1955).
Essential to Kelly's personal construct psychology is the metaphor of
the "person as scientist". While this elevates lay-people to the lofty
position previously only held by academics, it also threatens the
prevailing order by being too radical and thus has been largely ignored
or even misconstrued by mainstream psychology.

Kelly's work (like Jung's) may perhaps actually be a psychology way
ahead of its time with its emphasis on idiographic analysis and a
qualitative understanding of the processes that give meaning to
people's lives. Hopefully with the growing emphasis on alternative and
constructivistic methods, Kelly's work will finally be acknowledged
in the mainstream for the unique perspective that it represents.

Also, the person as scientist implies a "power to the people" approach
which has never suceeded as a movement historically even in democracy.
Graham, you may be interested in this sociology of science approach to
pcp. BTW, my paper is on its way to Vista U. Best Wishes. Hemant

> I wonder to what extent quantitative methodologies are pursued purely
> because one stands a better chance of funding as well as the
> assumption that such research is more likely to be believed or
> accepted by policy makers - not to mention the increased
> number of publications so necessary for promotion. Perhaps
> researchers also shoulder some of the "blame" for perpetuating the
> quick-fix methodologies. (By the way, thank you for the references in
> pcp).
> Regards, Graham.
> _____________________________________________________________
> | Graham B. Stead, Ph.D. |
> | Department of Psychology, Vista University, Pvt. Bag X613, |
> | Port Elizabeth 6000 SOUTH AFRICA |
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