Critical realism and realist research in human geography: a method or a philosophy in search of a method?

Yeung, H.W.C.
March 1997
Progress in Human Geography;Mar1997, Vol. 21 Issue 1, p51
Academic Journal
Recent philosophical debates in human geography tend to misappropriate critical realism as a method per se . Drawing upon an extensive review of the realist philosophy and method in social science, this article argues that critical realism is a philosophy in search of a method. It first delves into recent debates about critical realism within the wider geographical discourse. It then suggests three useful guidelines in executing realist research in human geography: iterative abstraction, qualified grounded theory method and methodological triangulation. The article ends with a detailed empirical example for the readers to work through of the ways in which realist research can be practised in human geography.


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