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Questions in Communication & Social research - Essay Example

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Questions in Communication & Social research

t all the different reasons that explain a particular course of action, whereas nomothetic explanation looks at all the different factors behind a particular course of action. Stating that their paycheck was not direct deposited on time, but a day late, that HR failed to include holiday pay on the check when it was deposited, and that they will not be able to correct it for another two days are examples of idiographic explanations to a company as to why a bill may be late. Looking at the proximity of a job to a place of residence, how much they pay versus how much may be saved in travel time, and the amount of work that will need to be done when compared to a person’s current job all fall under the blanket of nomothetic reasoning.
A paradigm is “the fundamental model or frame of reference we use to organize our observations and reasoning” (Babbie, p. 33). There are many different types of paradigms present in our world today; including the postmodern paradigm which suggests only experience is real, scientific paradigms such as Newtonian mechanics and Einstein’s theory of relativity, macrotheory which focuses on the big pictures in society, and microtheory which focus on interactions at the individual level and while these are not the only paradigms covered in the text itself, these are some of the main paradigms discussed. Paradigms are important because they not only offer a variety of different viewpoints, but they also offer certain insights into the field of study being referenced. Paradigms are “neither true nor false; as ways of looking, they are only more or less useful” (Babbie, p. 34). Every paradigm makes assumptions about the nature of reality, and offers a different way of looking at the world and the societies in it; each of these different paradigms offers a new branch of research, and new methods and concepts to be investigated. They offer a different way of seeing the world, which in turn can shed light on the resolution of different ...Show more


Babbie uses two different terms, idiothetic or ideographic, and nomothetic, to describe the different types of explanations that humans tell themselves and others on a daily basis. Idiographic explanation is “an approach to explanation in which we seek to exhaust the…
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