reject the idea that social sciences (such as education and training) can be studied with the same methods as the natural or physical sciences;
feel that human behavior is always bound to the context in which it occurs; therefore, behavior must be studied holistically, in context, rather than being manipulated;
employ an "insider's" perspective; this makes qualitative research an intensely personal and subjective style of research.
argues that both the natural and social sciences strive for testable and confirmable theories that explain phenomena by showing how they are derived from theoretical assumptions;
reduces social reality to variables in the same manner as physical reality;
attempt to tightly control the variable in question to see how other variables are influenced.
(San Diego State University, 2006)
As can be seen from the above descriptions, the sheer complexity of the situation regarding terrorism is most suited to one that sees "context" as everything, rejecting the idea that human relations can be simplified to a model as exists within the physical sciences. The "insider's" perspective is exactly the type that will allow for the most useful information to be gleaned.
Viewing the situation of terrorism from an objective distance. will tend towards either of two equally undesirable ends: a conclusion of incomprehensibility or one that falls back on old stereotypes and clichs. Adopting the qualitative approach may not offer as easy cause and effect solutions to the question, but it will allow a far better exploration of what is actually occurring.
The Definition of "Terrorism" and "Terrorist"
The origins of the word "terrorist" are rather ironic. It seem as...
This dissertation reveals that the simple, stark question remains as to whether a legislation could have stopped these young men planning and then implementing their bombings. Could any legislation have stopped them walking into that Underground station that morning? The answer is no. Many of the arguments that revolve around the issue of terrorism avoid the dilemma that is at the center of any free society’s reaction to those who want to destroy it. Namely, how far should a society go in giving up freedoms in order to protect them? Totalitarian countries tend to be remarkably free of terrorism because a police state does not allow such groups to even begin to form.
If the choice is between living in a police state free of terrorism and living in a free society in which terrorism may occur, the vast majority of the British people (as in all free countries) will choose the latter.
In conclusion, a free society and a democracy allow people to do and say almost anything as long as it does not directly harm anybody else. People have the privacy of their own homes to discuss what they will: if terrorism and its glories are one of those subjects there is nothing a free society can do about it. British people may move from house to house, street to street, city to city and even (within Europe) from country to country, without government intervention. One of the weaknesses that go along with the great strength of such a free society is that a terrorist may do the same thing.