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This essay explores undergraduate exposure to alternative ways of knowing. At issue is whether undergraduate students are encouraged to analyze and challenge fundamental underlying premises, assumptions and beliefs of their discipline. Given the ongoing methodological debates within the social sciences, particularly concerning neo-positivists and interpretivists, the thrust of the current project is to suggest that the instruction of introductory research methods courses should offer students an opportunity to explore underlying premises, assumptions and beliefs related to such courses to ensure that a deeper sort of learning occurs. It is further argued that greater exploration of the divide between neo-positivists’ and interpretivists’ methods of inquiry in the social sciences is essential to provide students with a broader perspective for social analysis. This essay analyzes five, widely used introductory research methods texts in the social sciences. It is concluded that, with rare exception, the five selected textbooks provide students with little or no analysis of underlying assumptions and beliefs that form the ideological presuppositions of disciplines in the social sciences.


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