Philosophical Problems with Social Research on Health Inequalities

Health Care Analysis 8 (3):259-277 (2000)
Abstract
This paper offers a realist critique of socialresearch on health inequalities. A conspectus of thefield of health inequalities research identifies twomain research approaches: the positivist quantitativesurvey and the interpretivist qualitative `casestudy'. We argue that both approaches suffer fromserious philosophical limitations. We suggest that aturn to realism offers a productive `third way' bothfor the development of health inequality research inparticular and for the social scientific understandingof the complexities of the social world in general
Keywords epistemology  health inequalities  interpretivism  ontology  positivism  realism  social research
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