Social science at the crossroads: what direction for mental health nurses? Academic Article uri icon


  • We explore the current and, it would appear, the increasing opposition by some nurse academics to the notion that the traditional scientific methods are suitable for deriving knowledge of essentially social constructions and events. We caution against pursuing an anti-quantitative rhetoric and argue that a rapprochement is possible between contrasting methodologies. To argue for one methodology to the exclusion of all others is both naive and simplistic. All research traditions can be criticized for failing to do justice to social phenomena; it is therefore incumbent upon nurse researchers to be aware of the relative merits of each approach. An example is provided on how different research methodologies can be profitably combined.

publication date

  • January 1, 1997