Review Essay: Is it Real? Problems and Prospects of Research in "the Real World"

  • Maximilian C. Forte University College of Cape Breton
Keywords: critical realism, fixed design, flexible design, methods, strategies, data analysis, surveys, questionnaires, experimental designs, statistical tests, case study, ethnography, grounded theory, observation, evaluation


This handbook will be very useful as an overview of various strategies, methods and research designs in social research, combining quantitative and qualitative research in a critical realist paradigm. The reader is introduced to debates concerning various approaches to research, from the positivist to the relativist, whilst putting forth an argument for a reconstructed scientific approach that the author calls "real world research." Readers are then introduced to research design, methods of gathering data and then, finally, the analysis of data and reporting on one's enquiry. While this will most likely be a useful introductory text for novice or lay researchers, especially those engaged in research with a policy orientation, more specialized readers in some disciplines might not be as well served. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0204471


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Author Biography

Maximilian C. Forte, University College of Cape Breton
Maximilian C. FORTE obtained his doctoral degree in Anthropology from the University of Adelaide (Australia), following previous degrees in international relations, area studies and languages. He is the founding editor of both the Caribbean Amerindian Centrelink ( and of KACIKE: The Journal of Caribbean Amerindian History and Anthropology ( He has also been engaged in action research with the indigenous Carib Community of Arima, Trinidad & Tobago and temporarily works as a consultant ethnographer for the National Library of Trinidad & Tobago.
How to Cite
Forte, M. C. (2002). Review Essay: Is it Real? Problems and Prospects of Research in "the Real World". Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 3(4).
Methodology and Methods