Constructing conceptual frameworks in social science research
Van der Waldt, Gerrit
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Research in the social sciences is concerned with complex social behaviour, group dynamics and unique human settings. Researchers have different patterns of thought and modes of thinking. As such, they often use different words to explain phenomena, thereby causing conceptual confusion. This article explains how conceptual frameworks can help overcome such confusion by serving as visual organising tools and mental maps to direct and guide research. By using a descriptive approach, the article aims firstly to outline the necessity, purpose, nature and scope of conceptual frameworks in social science research and, secondly, to provide a ‘how-to’ guide on the design of such a framework by exploring a practical example. The results illustrate conclusively the significant contribution that conceptual frameworks can and should make in social science research.
- TD: 2020 Volume 16