Sociopolitical Underpinnings of Positivism and Qualitative Cultural Psychological Methodology

  • Carl Ratner
Part of the Path in Psychology book series (PATH)


The conventional explanation for positivism’s hegemony over social science research is that positivism is the only, or certainly the best, scientific methodology. Accordingly, qualitative cultural psychological methodology deserves to be marginalized because it is not a scienific approach. However, we have seen that positivism is unscientific in many respects and that qualitative cultural psychological methodology is a more objective approach for investigating cultural psychology. Therefore the explanation for positivism’s dominance at the expense of our methodology cannot lie in the scientific merits of the two approaches. It lies instead in social and political implications of the two methodologies (Vygotsky, 1997, pp. 233–234).


Operational Definition Capitalist Society Psychological Phenomenon Ford Foundation Scientific Merit 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carl Ratner
    • 1
  1. 1.Humboldt State UniversityArcataUSA

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