What is the meaning of elucidating
Critical theorists thus require a greater measure of autonomy from the persons studied, or, to use anthropological terms, a more ‘etic’ than ’emic’ position from which to analyze and construct arguments.
In the classic debate between Marxism and liberal social science, as Morrow (1994, 54) describes it, “materialism refers to the historical analysis that stressed explanations based on external “material” structures (social and economic), as opposed to the voluntary actions of individuals who choose their own fate.” In short, while constructivist or humanistic qualitative research is primarily interested in these voluntary actions, critical qualitative research is concerned with the constraints that limit such actions.
In contrast to some humanistic qualitative researchers who rely upon the claims of science to affirm their study’s validity, critical researchers distance themselves from methodologies that are imported from the natural sciences.
Qualitative research that emerges from a critical tradition, therefore, often encounters from its audience less perceived need to argue for a study’s validity using terms imposed from logical positivism.
Critical theorists hold that these earlier approaches offered no ability to explain social change.
Weaknesses and cautions regarding this paradigm: One of the charges against critical theory is its tendency toward elitism.In media research, critical theorists have largely focused their efforts on analyses that highlight the relationship between various media industries, policies, and ideological systems, although some have focused primarily upon the ideological analysis of media texts.Early work in the Birmingham Center for Contemporary Cultural Studies, however, employed ethnographic methodologies to delineate relationships between class position and media preferences or “taste.” Other scholars have explored the relationship between interpretive strategies and hegemonic positions.Both traditions are thus more interested in offering interpretations than in elucidating natural laws of causality. Both, therefore, offer a challenge to logical positivism, arguing that dynamic social and cultural structures, rather than certain distinguishable variables, constrain human actions. Thus, both are open to the possibility of social change. As a further challenge to logical positivism, both eschew the problem of bias in research.Humanistic, constructivist researchers argue that “bias” should be reconceptualized in light of the subjective position of the researcher, viewed as that which informs and strengthens one’s interpretation.
It could be said that Marxism, which obviously informs some assumptions of critical theory, shares an interesting point of commonality with logical positivism.