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“The methods one chooses depend upon the research questions asked and the ultimate purpose of the knowledge produced” (Mattingly and Falconer-al-Hindi, 1995). Examine this statement with reference to at least two specific geographical projects w

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Introduction

"The methods one chooses depend upon the research questions asked and the ultimate purpose of the knowledge produced" (Mattingly and Falconer-al-Hindi, 1995). Examine this statement with reference to at least two specific geographical projects with which you are familiar. When choosing a method to answer a research question an academic will have in mind a desired outcome from their research, therefore an appropriate method will be used to this end. An academic will do this for the ultimate purpose of validating their theories or epistemological viewpoint. An economic geographer is likely to choose a different method of research (collection of statistical data) than a social geographer (participant observation and surveys) as the purpose of the knowledge produced will be different in each case. As Geography is a multidisciplinary subject the sheer amount of data and previous studies that are available to a geographer are boundless. Robinson (1998: 12) writes, "Geographical data may take many forms, being obtained from a number of different sources and generated in a variety of ways". Geography is open to interpretation; there is no right or wrong answer and as there is so much data the purpose of the generated knowledge from the research can be suited to a desired outcome. Welsh et al. ...read more.

Middle

The interviews were tape recorded, transcribed then analysed to pick out specific themes. Such as all respondents agreed that it was the teenagers own choice as to whether they have an abortion or not. The purpose of the knowledge is of an informative nature interesting to not only academics but also policy makers. Abortion is an extremely topical issue and a comparison between select western countries with varying attitudes towards the acceptance of abortion gives the countries involved an insight how their citizens view abortion. Interviewees in Sweden are described as using mild words "the Swedish way", whilst interviewees in the United States describe a polarised view of the subject (ibid: 76). The study then describes on an individual country basis its recommendations on strategies for change based on the interviewee's responses. Llanos (2001) 'Understanding Power in Argentina study of the policy of privatisation in the 1990's', uses a completely different method to answer the articles research question. Here he is trying to show us the power relationships between the President, Congress and the Lower House in Argentina through the case study of privatisation. This is done via the use of secondary data in the form of quotes and philosophies from other writers, to give us a view of how Argentina's political system has developed and how the issue of privatisation came about and then carried out. ...read more.

Conclusion

The first paper looked at humanistic viewpoints to do with the issue of abortion in adolescence and the geographies of this phenomenon, which is deeply embedded in social geography. The methods used were qualitative using a structured interviewee led questionnaire, with some statistical analysis of responses and an in depth comparison between attitudes in the four different countries. The second paper is an analysis of what has been written by an array of different authors, no primary data was collected in the method of this paper it was simply an analytic view of different philosophical viewpoints to prove that democracy exists in Latin America. To try to apply the same methods as in the teenage abortion study to the Argentinean study would be unworkable. Firstly the study on Argentina is carried out in only one country, and secondly the Argentinean study is carried out on historical data from academics and not humanistic opinions from related professionals, to try and apply the methods of the Argentinean study to the teenage abortion study would be equally fruitless. The methods chosen in each of these papers are inextricably linked to the ultimate purpose of the knowledge produced, neither of the studies methods are transferable to the others study because the research questions asked are fundamentally different. ...read more.

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