Antipositivism (also known as interpretivism or interpretive sociology) is the view in social science that the social realm may not be subject to the same methods of investigation as the natural world; that academics must reject empiricism and the scientific method in the conduct of social research. Antipositivists hold that researchers should focus on understanding the interpretations that social actions have for the people being studied.
Antipositivism relates to various historical debates in the
philosophy and sociology of science. In modern practice, however,
interpretivism may be equated with qualitative research methods, while positivist research is more quantitative.
Positivists typically use research methods such as experiments and
statistical surveys, while antipositivists use research methods which
rely more on ethnographic fieldwork, conversation/discourse analysis or
open-ended interviews. Positivist and antipositivist methods are