UGC NTA NET Exam | Positivism & Post-Positivism Approach to Research |

 UGC NTA NET Exam | Positivism & Post-Positivism Approach to Research |

There are two important approaches famous among sociological researchers i.e.
positivism and Post-Positivism.
These approaches are discussed below


This approach was first formulated by the french thinker Auguste Comte. Thus, he is considered the'Father of positivism'. He first described the epistemological perspective of positivism in 'The course in positive philosophy' (1842) and 'system of positive polity' (1851). The positivism is based on scientific basis.
According to Comte, the whole universe is organised and operated by unchangeable natural laws. Thus, it can be understood through scientific methods rather than the logical or hypostatical manner. Hence, positivism is to understand and acquiring knowledge about everything with the help of scientific methods which are based on analysis, synthesis, application and classification. it's only discusses about those events which can be seen or felt directly and can be analysed. it does not use any means of imagination in any level of it. It is a scientific view which aims to explain the truth. this emphasises quantitative method.

According to Comte the following steps are used under positivism approach
1. To select a topic to study.
2. To collect the observable evidence related to the topic through evaluation.
3. After analysis classify the collected evidences on the basis of general classification
4. To give conclusion

Characteristics of positivism

1. Social events also take place on the basis of some laws in the same way as the natural events happen. Thus, these laws can be identified with the help of scientific methods.
2. Positivism is related to scientific point of view as well as science methodology
3. Positivism keeps itself away from religious and philosophical ideas.
4. Positivism is a utility science and believes in the form that knowledge gained through positivism can be used as a means of social reconstruction.


Post-positivism argues that by combining empirical comments with logical reasoning, a proper estimate can be made about an event. post-positivism believes that there is no difference between the thinking and acts of scientists and our daily affairs. The scientific logic and general logic are essentially the same process and there is no difference in between the two, only difference is in the fraction.

According to post-positivism, all observations are unstable and there is an error and all these principles are reusable. post positivism, all observation are unstable and there is an error and all these principles are reusable. post-positivism believes that the goal of science is to achieve the aim of truth with the help of correct methods either we achieve the aim or not.
Post-positivism gives emphasis on three development such as
  • use of quantitative and qualitative strategies
  • Desire of strategy based on question research.
  • Its pattern is based on quantitative vs qualitative technique.

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