Chapter 1: Introduction to Research Methods



While it is true that we are always doing research, whether it is formal or informal, undertaking a research project is complex, time consuming, and a lot of work. As you will see in the following chapters, there are many research decisions to be made and steps to be undertaken before one can even begin to collect data. The purpose of this chapter has been to slowly introduce you to some of the key umbrella terms and concepts necessary to understand research methods, and to discuss where research ideas originate.

The final matter that should be addressed in this introductory chapter is to acknowledge that knowledge and power are highly related;. those who have the power usually also have the knowledge, and vice versa.  Those who have the power can influence what research is undertaken, how it is undertaken, how the findings are reported, if at all, and to whom they are reported.

Michel Foucault, an influential and controversial scholar from the 20th century, is recognized for articulating this perspective on power and knowledge. When considering research, it is important to recognize that research often goes where the money goes. Thus, those with the power often control what knowledge we gain.


Share This Book