Grix 2002

Posted by Hugh on May 20, 2014 in Annotated, References, Reflection, Research Methods |

Grix J. (2002), Introducing Students to the Generic Terminology of Social Research, Politics 22-3 P. 175-186, Blackwell Publishers Ltd.

This article gave a very good overview and definition of Ontology – Epistemology – Methodology – Methods and Sources for research. It also presents a graph from Hay, 2002 p 64., that sums it up very well, which is reproduced below:

building blocks of research - Hayes 2002


The article focuses on Ontology and Epistemology; it defines ontology in is simplest form is about what we know and epistemology is about how we come to know what we know or the knowledge-gathering process. It explains that some researchers wrong lump these two aspects together and gives reasons why they should be separate.

It further defines methodology as the science and study of methods and assumptions about the ways in which knowledge is produced; whereas methods are techniques or procedures used to collate and analyse date, citing Blaikie, 2002, p.8.

I understood the methodology and methods part of the article as I have come across these terms before. However ontology was new to me but I had heard epistemology used before but not understood it.

This article has given me a clearer understanding of these terms and how they lead on to each other, the image above shows it clearly. I also now understand the importance of question-led approach as apposed to method-led.



Blaikie, N. (2000), Designing Social Research, Cambridge: Polity

Hay, C. (2002), Political Analysis. A Critical Introduction, Basingstoke: Palgrave.

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