Aligning myself to a specific research paradigm is going to prove to be just as elusive as it was assigning one to a certain area of expertise It’s hard to commit myself to one method as the biggest issue that I have to overcome when writing research papers is adding my own voice. I often rely too heavily on others’ research rather than adding my own weight to the work. However, when I think about how I go about researching and responding to research, my automatic response is to say that I lean towards interpretive. It is my belief when studying anything we should put ourselves in the place of the subject in order to get a clearer and less biased picture of the evidence given. This leans towards with the epistemology of the interpretive paradigm where we must listen to the work of those to learn about how other people view the orchestra of their lives and how the world works around them. Upon reflection, this diffidence stunted my research and writing as I am too hesitant to trample over other voices—ones I view as more experience and worthy—to impart my own. I can see how I get caught in learning about individual perspectives that shape their world views rather then generating conclusions with the evidence given.
As easy as it would be to place myself in the interpretive model and leave it there, it wouldn’t be completely accurate. The majority of the research papers I’ve written in my short university career so far have been based on the experiences of marginalized groups, often written with a feminist perspective and follow more along the lines of the critical paradigm and its respective epistemology regarding the social constructs and the resulting constraints on those societies. While I agree with the critical paradigm’s epistemology aim at using research to look critically at the socially constructed systems in place with goals to dismantle oppressive forces within them I am still hesitant to label my research as critical. Even as I try to educate myself, both through university and in my own time, on the effects these systems have on society, I struggle to see how I can create change and therefore hindering myself in the process. It will be my goal throughout my university career to continue developing my voice in order to hone in on the ontological and epistemological approach needed to strengthen my research.