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Positivists view the use of scientific methods of research as desirable or preferable and are critical sociologists that use subjective or unobservable mental states The positivist methodology came from the early sociologist Auguste Comte He maintained that the application of the methods and assumptions of the natural sciences of the positive sciences of society From this rational came the tenants of positivism or the positivist perspective Some characteristics of this type of methodology are- The evolution of society followed a set of laws These laws were governed by principles of cause and effect Human behaviour like the behaviour of matter can be objectively measured The behaviour that is observed can therefore be analyzed and examined in order to create theories Positivists also prefer correlation as a key method of analyzing sociological research This means that they preferred to look at social facts before they made their assumptions They believed that it is therefore possible for one phenomena to affect the actions of another The assumptions of interpretive methods in sociological research are The sampling size has to be smaller in order to allow easier more in-depth study of the subjects Interviews are also very much preferred among this methodology because they allow a better understanding of the actors nature ontology It is flexible and can often be used to ask people about their attitudes etc The use of participant observation and ethnography is critical for an interpretivists understanding and analysis of the actions of a social group Symbolic interactionism comes into play as well Individuals react according to symbols that are around them These acts are defined as social acts which are the results of subjective meanings or interpretation and therefore cannot be objectively analyzed The main disadvantage of the positivist method of research is the fact that subjects being objectively studied may not be acting as they usually do Hence the researcher may collect wrong information However this
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