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23 FEBRUARY 2015

Conceptual Frameworks and Theoretical Frameworks

"Current usage of the terms conceptual framework and theoretical framework are vague and imprecise. In this paper I define conceptual framework as a network, or 'a plane,' of interlinked concepts that together provide a comprehensive understanding of a phenomenon or phenomena. The concepts that constitute a conceptual framework support one another, articulate their respective phenomena, and establish a framework–specific philosophy. Conceptual frameworks possess ontological, epistemological, and methodological assumptions, and each concept within a conceptual framework plays an ontological or epistemological role. The ontological assumptions relate to knowledge of the 'way things are,' 'the nature of reality,' 'real' existence, and 'real' action (Guba & Lincoln, 1994). The epistemological assumptions relate to 'how things really are' and 'how things really work' in an assumed reality (p. 108). The methodological assumptions relate to the process of building the conceptual framework and assessing what it can tell us about the 'real' world."

(Yosef Jabareen, 2009)

Jabareen, Y. (2009). Building a Conceptual Framework: Philosophy, Definitions, and Procedure. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 8(4).


2009academic research • building conceptual frameworks • concepts • conceptual analysis • conceptual construct • conceptual development • conceptual framework • conceptual frameworks • conceptual model • conceptually specified categories • consistency of the concept • discipline-oriented theories • Egon Guba • epistemological assumptions • epistemological criteria • general theoretical framework • grounded theoryInternational Journal of Qualitative Methods • interpretative approach • interpretive framework • methodological assumptions • network of linked concepts • ontological assumptions • ontological perspective • plane of linked concepts • research paradigmresearch process • ResearchGate • specific paradigm of enquiry • theoretical explanation • theoretical frameworktheoretical frameworks • Yosef Jabareen • Yvonna Lincoln


Simon Perkins
21 FEBRUARY 2013

The Social Constructivist Worldview

"Social constructivism (often combined with interpretivism; see Mertens, 1998) is such a perspective, and it is typically seen as an approach to qualitative research. The ideas came from Mannheim and from works such as Berger and Luekmann's (1967) The Social Construction of Reality and Lincoln and Guba's (1985) Naturalistic Inquiry. More recent writers who have summarized this position are Lincoln and Guba (2000), Schwandt (2007), Neuman (2000), and Crotty (1998), among others. Social constructivists hold assumptions that individuals seek understanding of the world in which they live and work. Individuals develop subjective meanings of their experiences – meanings directed toward certain objects or things. These meanings are varied and multiple, leading the researcher to look for the complexity of views rather than narrowing meanings into a few categories or ideas. The goal of the research is to rely as much as possible on the participants' views of the situation being studied. The questions become broad and general so that the participants can construct the meaning of a situation, typically forged in discussions or interactions with other persons. The more open–ended the questioning, the better, as the researcher listens carefully to what people say or do in their life settings. Often these subjective meanings are negotiated socially and historically. They are not simply imprinted on individuals but are formed through interaction with others (hence social constructivism) and through historical and cultural norms that operate in individuals' lives. Thus, constructivist researchers often address the processes of interaction among individuals. They also focus on the specific contexts in which people live and work, in order to understand the historical and cultural settings of the participants. Researchers recognize that their own backgrounds shape their interpretation, and they position themselves in the research to acknowledge how their interpretation flows from their personal, cultural, and historical experiences. The researcher's intent is to make sense of (or interpret) the meanings others have about the world. Rather than starting with a theory (as in postpostivism), inquirers generate or inductively develop a theory or pattern of meaning."

(John Creswell, 2003)

John Creswell (2003). "Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches". (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publication.


complexity of views • constructivist researcher • cultural experiences • Donna Mertens • Egon Guba • historical and cultural norms • historical and cultural settings • historical experiences • imprinted on individuals • interaction among individuals • interaction with othersinterpret meaningsinterpretationinterpretivismJohn CreswellKarl Mannheim • life contexts • life settings • Michael Crottyopen-ended questioningopen-ended questions • pattern of meaning • Peter Berger • postpostivism • qualitative researchsocial constructivismsocial science • subjective meanings • theory of meaning • Thomas Luckmann • Thomas Schwandt • William Neuman • work contextsYvonna Lincoln


Simon Perkins
06 JANUARY 2013

Hermeneutic Phenomenology and Phenomenology: A Comparison of Historical and Methodological Considerations

"a variety of research methodologies have grown in popularity including phenomenology, ethnography, grounded theory, and hermeneutic phenomenology (Denzin & Lincoln, 2000). As this has occurred, concern has risen about the use of qualitative methodologies without sufficient understanding of the rigor necessary to ethically utilize them (Maggs–Rapport, 2001). More specifically, phenomenology and hermeneutic phenomenology are often referred to interchangeably, without questioning any distinction between them. The purpose of this article is to discuss the early philosophical development of selected key issues related to phenomenology and hermeneutic phenomenology and support the position that differences and similarities exist. This exploration will begin with the phenomenology of Husserl and then move to explore heremeneutic phenomenology through Heidegger and Gadamer. Exploration will be given to how these different philosophical perspectives have an impact on the practice of phenomenology and hermeneutic phenomenology as research methodologies."

(Susann M. Laverty, 2003)

Laverty, S. M. (2003). "Hermeneutic phenomenology and phenomenology: A comparison of historical and methodological considerations". International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 2(3). Article 3. Retrieved 06 January 2013 from


conducting researchEdmund Husserlepistemologyethnography • form and nature of reality • Frances Maggs-Rapport • grounded theoryHans-Georg Gadamer • hermeneutic phenomenology • hermeneuticsInternational Journal of Qualitative MethodsMartin HeideggermethodologyNorman Denzinontological perspectiveontologyphenomenology • philosophical development • philosophical perspectives • qualitative methodologiesresearch methodologiesrigourYvonna Lincoln


Simon Perkins
31 MAY 2011

Majority of contemporary practice-based design PhDs use methodological bricolage

"A recent analysis of doctorates in design has identified four common characteristics of research approaches found in the exploration of practice–based design research questions [1]. They are: 1) a 'bricolage' approach to research design, 2) reflective practices, 3) the use of visual approaches and 4) thesis–structural innovation. These characteristics have been derived from an examination of a range of design theses and using a number of design research frameworks [2–4] to identify the epistemological and methodological models applied. This paper has chosen to focus on one of the four characteristics, the bricolage approach to method construction, as it is seen to be a common feature evident in all six studies. The bricolage method consists of combining methods from the social sciences, humanities, and hard sciences to derive a suitable model of inquiry.

While we acknowledge that design research investigates different issues that require studies into a range of subject areas such as the material, historical, scientific, social and psychological, the focus of this paper is the exploration of research questions derived from practice–based questions. In other words, it focuses on design activities that are used to generate new knowledge and understanding in and of itself.

We posit that the adoption of methodological bricolage is a necessity in design research due to the indeterminate nature of design. ...

Although Levi–Strauss introduced the concept of bricolage as a mode of acquiring knowledge, it was Denzin and Lincoln's [23] articulation of it within a methodological context that offered insight into new forms of rigour and complexity in social research. Nelson, Treichler and Grossberg describe bricolage (in the context of cultural studies methodology) as reflecting a choice of practice that is pragmatic, strategic and self–reflexive [24]. While Kincheloe [25] uses the term to describe multi–perspectival research methods, not just as the usage of mixed methods but to acknowledge that using methods from different disciplines enables the researcher to compare and contrast multiple points of view. Just as designed objects have prescribed affordances, methods automatically imply ontological and epistemological affordances. This relationship between inquiry and method affords design a useful indeterminacy, where not–knowing becomes a constructive loop that the bricoleur appears to be exploiting. As questions arise so methods to answer them are sought, abstracting platforms for design knowledge rather than concrete answers. Bricolage is a useful and necessary concept for design researchers as it allows them to deploy available and established strategies and methods, but also grants them the license to create new tools and techniques in order to address questions that are beyond the realm of the established discipline. Methodological bricolage permits the researcher to look at the problem we have with problems, as well as their solution. The bricoleur views research methods actively, rather than passively, meaning that the researcher actively constructs methods with tools at hand rather than accepting and using pre–existing methodologies [26]."

(Joyce S R Yee and Craig Bremner, 2011)

Fig.1 Danae Colomer, Gazpacho video portion of Food as Opera project.

2). Yee, J. S. R. and C. Bremner (2011). Methodological Bricolage – What does it tell us about Design? Doctoral Education in Design Conference. Hong Kong, Hong Kong Polytechnic University.



abstract knowledge • abstracting platforms for design knowledge • academic norm • academic studies • anthropological sense • bricolage • bricolage approach • bricolage method • bricoleur • Cary Nelson • case studiesClaude Levi-Strauss • complexity in social research • concrete answers • concrete knowledge • constructive loop • creative fiddler • creative tinkerer • cultural studies methodologydesign discipline • design PhDs • design researchdesign research approachesdesign researcherdesignerdisciplinary knowledge • doctoral studies • engineer • epistemological affordances • established research methodologies • established research methodsestablished research strategies • Joe Kincheloe • Lawrence Grossberg • making-do • methodological bricolage • methodological contextmethodologiesmixed methodsmodel of enquiry • modes of acquiring knowledge • multi-perspectival research methods • multiperspectival • multiple points of view • new forms of rigour • new objects • new tools and techniques • Norman Denzin • not-knowing • ontological affordances • Paula Treichler • PhDPhD supervision • pick and mix • practice-based • practice-based design PhDs • practice-based researchresearch designresearch methodsresearch modelresearcher • Savage Mind • select and apply • social research • spontaneous creative act • the scientific mind • tools at hand • useful indeterminacy • whatever is available • Yvonna Lincoln


Simon Perkins

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