Table of Contents

Handbook of Research Methods in Migration

Handbook of Research Methods in Migration

Elgar original reference

Edited by Carlos Vargas-Silva

Covering both qualitative and quantitative topics, the expert contributors in this Handbook explore fundamental issues of scientific logic, methodology and methods, through to practical applications of different techniques and approaches in migration research.

Chapter 2: Migration Research between Positivistic Scientism and Relativism: A Critical Realist Way Out

Theodoros Iosifides

Subjects: development studies, development economics, development studies, migration, economics and finance, development economics, geography, research methods in geography, politics and public policy, migration, public policy, research methods in politics and public policy, research methods, qualitative research methods, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, economics of social policy, migration, social policy in emerging countries, urban and regional studies, migration, research methods in urban and regional studies

Extract

Theodoros Iosifides1 In this chapter, I discuss some crucial ontological and epistemological dimensions of migration research methodology that have significant repercussions on the ways migration research is designed, practised and utilised. As meta-theoretical (ontological and epistemological) dimensions are inevitably implicated and closely related with any methodological strategy in social research, including migration research, the main aim of this chapter is to highlight the consequences of positivist and relativist epistemologies for contemporary migration research methodology. Discussion starts with some central premises of contemporary scientistic positivism and relativism and continues with indicating their consequences for contemporary migration research methodology. The way out from the Scylla of scientism and the Charybdis of relativism is offered in Section 2.3 and entails the adoption of a critical realist meta-theoretical approach. This approach prioritises ontology over epistemology and can serve as a guide to substantive migration research, enhancing its explanatory power and potential. In Section 2.3, I briefly refer to some central features of the realist approach and discuss more extensively its advantages for migration research practice through concrete examples. Finally, the chapter is concluded with some brief remarks about the emancipatory and critical potential of a critical realist rationale in migration research. 2.1 WAVES OF IRREALISM, REDUCTIONISM AND ONTOLOGICAL FLATNESS: POSITIVISTIC SCIENTISM AND RELATIVISM In this section and before discussing the consequences of positivism/ scientism and various forms of contemporary relativism in migration research, I briefly refer to some of the most serious limitations of these rationales in general, notably irrealism, reductionism and ontological flatness....

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information