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The terms ontology and epistemology in political science are used interchangeably to refer to the study of the existence, nature, or entity of a certain political subject. On its simplest meaning ontology it makes it possible to answer the question what is? In this respect, it entails the existence and presence of a certain political subject topic which need some analysis to solve the existing conflict.
Secondly, epistemology passes on to the body of philosophy that entails the existence of knowledge. Epistemology makes assumption that, we are familiar with some political happening and we have already acquired knowledge about it. Specifically, It tries to answers the questions that start with how? Ontology and epistemology borrow much from the branches of philosophy that seek to explain the existence of an entity or subjects.
The questions of ontology and epistemology is important to the study of politics because fundamentals on which political scientists explore are in ontological and epistemological locations. Many times they are not always spelt out but rather are implicit than explicit. However, they show their trends and characteristics in the context of methodology approach. In reference to Marsh and Furlong (2002 16) these puts political researchers to takes a positive pivotal to their research, for the purposes of shaping the move towards to research theory and the methodology use.
For this reason, they are stuck extremely in the researcher’s point of view that the stand taken on these subject cannot possibly be altered.
Ontology is the science and hypothesis of being. It relates to the inquiry of how the world is developed ,it tries to put in quest to know whether there is a real world out there which is self governing from our awareness of it existence.4 when framed from the political point of view the question might be like ,What is the environment of political challenge that we might get hold to gain more knowledge?5 basically there are two differences which can be deducted from this statement . It is revealed that, the real world is sovereign from our perceptive. From this understanding life is built to existence hence the manifestation of foundation. Secondly, there is no real world. The world is socially and long widely constructed and depends from a peculiar culture and politics. At the same time, Epistemology means the theory of knowledge. Ones epistemological position mirrors the analysis of what we can be familiar with in our environment and how we can come to our understanding. 5 At this point there are two major differences to be made here: , it is most probable to get knowledge about the World unmediated without any abstraction. This reveals that purpose is possible, because everyone presides and understands things in the same way. In contrast, observation is not the same as purpose but it is always affected by the social political Constructions of which are referred as reality. This has a direct link to ontology.7 for this reason, Foundational would have appointed of view, while anti-foundational would make user of the latter.
This there is a common reasoning that there is no real world to be observed, as every thing or proceeding picks meaning only by characters associated with them and not by the feature of sheer existence.
Discussion and analysis
Again the question under discussion is important to the study of politics since Positivism accepts the foundational ontology and epistemology. It is taken from the tradition of natural research and assumes political social science as being capable of stashing the same results as in the natural science. This means that, to monitor the whole thing that happens and understand it clearly it need no arbitration, hence denial of reality. In this provision, the crucial aim is to generate general laws and relevant statements in relation social political subject.
This demonstrates that objectivity can be achieved. Positivists use quantitative methods as research method, as this is because objective and the outcome are replicable.9The opposite position is taken by relativists, for position it is not easy to come up with objective statement in relation to the real world. This is because no much thing is related to the real world but social and political tailored. The ontological situation is anti foundational. This is because the world is socially politically organised phenomena.
Quantitative methods are often used by positivists’ researchers. This is because they are out to produce scientific laws and explanations which do not refer to natural notion science in their ontology and epistemology.
At the end, the method makes use of number analysis which is analyses to more mean full results. The aim of this analysis is to have interpretation in the analysis which is direct and exact definite. The advantages associated with this analysis approach, is that the data is usually easy to replicate.
At the same time, qualitative method are commonly use by relativists. This is because their ontology and epistemology correspond to situations of the world which is social politically organized. In this regard all the finding and knowledge are subject to interpretation, in addition relativists use interviews, focus groups and other qualitative methods to get an in-depth sight into a political field under investigation. This is possible because of the richness in description which is not in quantitative research (Marsh & Furlong 2002 ).
After having defined units and categories of analysis, one can basically start to perform the analysis. However, two things remain which have to be thought about. The units and categories have to be tested in two ways: Firstly, the coding has to be tried out in a small sample to reveal any possible inadequacies or inconsistencies in the political system. Also there should be a test about the reliability of the coding process. An inter coder reliability test has to make to assure that different coders do not come up with different findings, and an intra-coder test has to be performed to see whether one particular coder still codes a text the same after some time. “If checks reveal considerable divergence then it is necessary to tighten up the coding guidelines, to make the coding instructions and definitions clearer
For is simple and small-scale projects, the results can easily be analysed by hand, without the need of using sophisticated computer programs. Analysis will refer to the theoretical framework established although, as Hansen et al. note, it is also “important to be flexible and open-minded in the process of analysing the data. Sometimes new dimensions appear which have not been thought of before.
The analysis will furthermore give more evidence about what problems this particular methodology has and what issues might be outstanding with regard to the research field. It is, however, possible to think of a couple of things where more time and money might have broadened or changed the analytical framework. As implied earlier as a quantitative analysis method will not give any hints on how people actually perceive the spots. Even though the CA itself might have found a high amount of negativity, in the textual context this might not be clear to people and they might perceive it as completely different. Conducting focus groups on this topic would be a good check on the validity of the findings as well as it would shed further light on effectiveness of negative strategies in the spots. Another useful thing might be not only to concentrate on the television spots but also broaden the research on other campaigning tools, such as other advertising or press briefings and speeches. However, given the limited time and resources, this is not feasible.
In conclusion some points can be made. Researchers should be aware of their ontological and epistemological position to know how to properly embark on a research topic. Without this prerequisite they are likely to get caught in contradictory statements and strategies without knowing it. When this is accomplished, the methodology of the research project has to be Thought of and after thorough consideration of the advantages and problems of the strategy the actual project can start. Ideally the conducted research will finally present itself as a coherent whole and furthermore bear some new and interesting findings.