Civilizations worldwide face various challenges in different fields including education, politics, healthcare, technology, gender, social welfare, and pedagogy, which all require adequate research to understand. In a complex societal arrangement and with daily emerging trends, research is indispensable in bridging the information gap, generating new sets of information, and clarifying inconsistencies in existing information. In the field of social sciences, research is often predisposed to the influence of biased and inclination towards subjectivity rather than objectivity. Whenever social science researchers are exposed to personalized information, they fail the test of clarity, reliability, and replicability in other related fields of study. For any form of studies to be explicit, accurate and reliable, extensive and intensive data collection, tests have to be carried out. Therefore, diversity is a critical quality of a social science research as it ensures that contradictory information and unreliable information are eliminated. Empirical data from different areas of study interest is often the most appropriate approach towards evaluating the credibility of any information used to support a hypothesis, theory, or proposition forming the study.
Failures of Some Social Science Methodologies
Subjective information has the potential of leaning towards the populist ideas thus obscuring the facts of the matter under investigation. In principle, the traditional ideas are often not necessarily the reliable information hence the need to treat each with skepticism (Bellamy, 2011). The oil and gas industry is one that has been dominated by men and majority groups in the United States of America. Men occupied an estimated 97% of the employments in this industry while women and minorities have been subjected to share the little 3% remaining (Will Jennings & Martin Lodge, 2016). Nonetheless, in the recent past, various employment opportunities in the sector have been given to the women and minorities thus giving an impression of a progressive change towards equal employments for everyone in the United States of America (Somekh & Lewin, 2005). In formulating the research methods for the trends of African American women involvement in the Oil and gas industry, I will have to integrate case studies and historical research to draw a more accurate picture of the changes that have been achieved so far and the future of the sector.
I will avoid unidirectional approaches to information sourcing for my dissertation since it would result in misleading inclination to partial information thus undermining the other facts from getting equal consideration. For instance, populist ideas led to the inability of political science analysts to predict President Donald Trump’s win and the Brexit (Will Jennings & Martin Lodge, 2016). Sensational social issues such as the inclusion of minority groups and African women in the social, political, and economic affairs of the United States of America has the potential of arousing populist perceptions. If these perceptions are unchecked in research, they undermine the credibility of findings hence increased the influence of biases and vested interests. For a social research to maintain credibility, it must stand a long-term test.
The results of research must be based on a projected future as opposed to current information only. It is implicit that I as a social researcher will completely detach myself from the issue under investigation. For instance, it beats logic that I adopt a neutral methodology that is founded on actual data as opposed to unchecked selfish opinions (Somekh & Lewin, 2005). Therefore, research designs such as ethnographic studies would be ideal for undertaking a systematic analysis of proximate issues such as the plight of African American women, historical, and social exclusion of women in the economics of the US. In addition, the ethnographic studies would apply to the case of the current employment status of African American women in the oil and gas industry (Somekh & Lewin, 2005). This extensive research would offer inter-temporal information about the trends and a more reliable source of scenarios for the women involvement in the oil and gas industry.
The role of social research in a dynamic society is not only to represent information in the form that the respondents provide it in the field. The fact that the African American women have been viewed variably by different social sectors some of the raw data from the field may be replete with unreliable information (Will Jennings & Martin Lodge, 2016). It is important to use effective data analysis methods that help in filtering out contradictory information or data that is expressly biased. Based on the understanding that the role of research is not only to represent the societal impressions but also to process them into reliable expressions that can be communicated both verbally and in written texts.
The articulation of research findings must be skeptical of treating each information with a specific amount of reservation (Somekh & Lewin, 2005). From this approach, facts about a social condition are derived from a variety of relevant information obtained from different researchers. For instance, in the recent US elections and a Donald Trump win, the political scientists failed to rightly predict presidential outcomes since they did not give due consideration to the changes in the contemporary American society that underscore traditional sensitivity to spoken values.
Approaches to limiting research errors in social science studies
The use of mixed methodologies and incorporation of diverse information from a variety of respondent groups is an ideal approach towards ensuring a credible study. Based on this method, I will be able to determine quickly the trends in pertinent issues influencing the involvement of African American women in the oil and gas industry and the possible transformation that their inclusion would contribute to the US economy (Gerring, 2001). Diversity in information and data means the need to select a representative sample that is widespread over a geographical area and comprises of people who represent all the segments of the society regarding religion, economic status, and political affiliation and value systems (Somekh & Lewin, 2005). The criteria of results and findings analysis must also be broadly-based to integrate the different perspectives given by the respondents. In essence, collecting a representative information from the research population is just a means to an end in social science studies. The analysis methods must be adequate in interpreting the qualitative and empirical data to uphold authenticity.
The methods of analysis that I will employ for my dissertation must be applied neutrally to avoid making one-sided conclusions that are based on preconceived and populist ideas. I will get rid of positivist or populist perceptions to limit the influence of contemporary pressures on my research findings (Gideon, 2012). The underpinning reason for concerted avoidance of current forces in doing my research is the fact that the modern schools of thought may be sensationalized to conceal the reality of the matter (Somekh & Lewin, 2005). For instance, the fact that minorities and African American women have been slowly integrated into US oil and gas industry in the recent past may hide the fact that they have been excluded in the past thus unreliability of predictions of the merchandise.
Bellamy, C. (2011). Principles of research design. Place of publication not identified: Sage Publications.
Gideon, L. (2012). Handbook of survey methodology for the social sciences. New York: Springer.
Gerring, J. (2001). Social science methodology: A critical framework. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Somekh, B., & Lewin, C. (2005). Research methods in the social sciences. London: SAGE Publications.
Will Jennings and Martin Lodge (November 11, 2016). The Failures of Political Science: Trump, Brexit and beyond… Available on https://sotonpolitics.org/2016/11/11/the-failures-of-political-science-trump-brexit-and-beyond/
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