Library and Theoretical Framework
Definition Theories are formulated to explain, predict, and understand phenomena and, in many cases, to challenge and extend existing knowledge, within the limits of the critical bounding assumptions.The theoretical framework is the structure that can hold or support a theory of a research study.The theoretical framework introduces and describes the theory which explains why the research problem under study exists.
Importance of Theory A theoretical framework consists of concepts, together with their definitions, and existing theory/theories that are used for your particular study.
The theoretical framework must demonstrate an understanding of theories and concepts that are relevant to the topic of your research paper and that will relate it to the broader fields of knowledge in the class you are taking. The theoretical framework is not something that is found readily available in the literature. You must review course readings and pertinent research literature for theories and analytic models that are relevant to the research problem you are investigating. The selection of a theory should depend on its appropriateness, ease of application, and explanatory power.
The theoretical framework strengthens the study in the following ways. 1 . An explicit statement of theoretical assumptions permits the reader to evaluate them critically. 2. The theoretical framework connects the researcher to existing knowledge. Guided by a relevant theory, you are given a basis for your hypotheses and choice of research methods. 3. Articulating the theoretical assumptions of a research study forces you to address questions of why and how. It permits you to move from simply describing a phenomenon observed to generalizing about various aspects of that phenomenon. 4.
Having a theory helps you to identify the limits to those generalizations. A theoretical framework specifies which key variables influence a phenomenon of interest. It alerts you to examine how those key variables might differ and under what circumstances. By virtue of its application nature, good theory in the social sciences is of value precisely because it fulfills one primary purpose: to explain the meaning, nature, and challenges of a phenomenon, often experienced but unexplained in the world in which we live, so that we may use that knowledge and understanding to act in more informed and effective ways.
A theoretical framework is a compilation of interrelated concepts, such as a theory though not necessarily worked-out so well. A theoretical framework guides you in doing research, determining what kind of things you will measure, and what type of statistical relationships you will look out for. A theoretical framework is a theoretical perspective of something. It can simply be a theory, but it can also be more general or a basic approach to understanding something. Typically, a theoretical framework defines the kinds of variables that you will want to look at. A theoretical framework refers to a collection of interrelated concepts.
It is like a theory but it is so well worked out. It guides one’s research, determines what things one will measure and the statistical relationships one will look for. A theoretical framework is a collection of interrelated concepts, like a theory but not necessarily so well worked-out. It guides your research, determining what things you will measure, and what statistical relationships you will look for. Theoretical frameworks are also important in exploratory studies. Theoretical framework is a structure that is used for supporting a theory of any research work. It explains the theory of why the research is necessary.
The framework helps the reader to make sense of the question that the research is founded on. A theoretical framework is a compilation of thoughts and theories on a research topic. To write a theoretical framework, identify the core set of connectors within a topic showing how they are related to the research topic. When writing theoretical framework, include an outline of existing theories closely related to the research topic. Demonstrate that the topic addresses questions that interest those already researching the field then clarify how your research relates to the existing theories.
Your own theoretical assumptions and loyalties should be as open as possible. Why use a Theoretical Framework? An effective history paper should do more than simply report what happened in the past. An effective history paper should also provide some analysis. Using a theoretical framework for your paper can help open up your analysis of past events by providing a particular set of questions to ask, and a particular perspective to use when examining your topic. top of page What is a Theoretical Framework? Theoretical frameworks provide a particular perspective, or lens, through which to xamine a topic.
Theoretical frameworks usually come from other disciplines – such as economics, the social sciences, and anthropology – and are used by historians to bring new dimensions of their topic to light. There is no right or wrong theoretical framework to use when examining your topic since every topic can be looked at from a number of different perspectives. For example, an essay on slavery in the American south could be examined from a social perspective – the relations between slaves, or between slaves and masters – but also from an economic perspective, a political erspective, or a cultural perspective Just to name a few.
Theoretical frameworks, however, are even more specific than these broad subject approaches. Theoretical frameworks are specific theories about aspects of human existence such as the functioning of politics, the economy, and human relations. These theories can then be applied to the study of actual events. While it is not necessary to use a theoretical framework to examine your topic, it can help to focus your essay on a specific aspect of your topic and can direct your analysis of that topic, offering unexpected insights into the past. op of page Examples ot Theoretical Frameworks There is no finite list of theoretical frameworks one can apply to a topic. Nonetheless, there are several theoretical frameworks that have been used more often by historians, forming schools of thought and shared approaches to historical subject matter such as marxism, nationalism, post-colonialism, and post-modernism, Just to name a few. It is important to note that these categories are fluid, and many of the theories can be classified under more than one school of thought.
In addition, many historians borrow theoretical frameworks from other disciplines without actively ssociating themselves with a particular school of thought. Below are some examples of theoretical frameworks that have been adopted by historians in recent decades. Marxism Many scholars use Marxist philosophy and theories to study past events. One notable theory is Italian philosopher Antonio Gramsci’s theory of “cultural hegemony. ” Gramsci proposed that those in power maintain power by making the societal hierarchy seem “normal. ” Gramsci’s theory has been used by many contemporary historians to analyze past events.
For example, Robert Rydell has applied this theory o the study of World’s Fairs, proposing that the elite of society used World’s Fairs to try to sway the masses into supporting a societal order that appeared to benefit everyone, but in reality benefitted primarily the elite. This is Just one example of a Marxist theory being applied to the study of history. There are many more. Nationalism Scholars of nationalism study how and why people have come to identify themselves as being a part of a nation, as well as the impact of the rise of nationalism in the last two centuries.
Benedict Anderson, for example, famously referred to nations as imagined communities” since a nation is a community in which the vast majority of people will never actually meet face-to-face or know each other, but nonetheless share a sense of identity based on nationality. Many historians have used Anderson’s theory to analyse nations and nationalism historically, while others have challenged Anderson’s theory on how nations are created by examining the rise of nationalism in a variety of different historical contexts.
Post-colonialism Post-colonialists study the power relations and racist assumptions that made the colonial system possible, as well as the legacy of colonialism for both the colonists nd the colonized. Edward Said’s theory of “Orientalism” proposes that the West has created a mythologized version of the East (or Orient) to reinforce the difference between the two, and the superiority of the West over the East, thus legitimizing Western attitudes towards and treatment of those in the East.
Historians use Said’s theory to examine past events, even those outside the strict geographic area being considered in Said’s original theory. Historians examine how western countries mythologize and exoticize the “other” in order to reinforce and legitimize their position of power. American historian Erika Lee, for example, uses Said’s theory to examine American attitudes (particularly those of white American women) towards China and Japan in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as the United States was developing its “informal empire” in the region through treaties and trade.
Literary Theory Historians have borrowed prolifically from cultural and literary theorists in recent decades. One notable example is Russian literary theorist M kn il Bakhtin’s theory ot “carnivalesque. ” For Bakhtin, the “carnivalesque” referred to literature that permits a emporary inversion of the normal social hierarchy. He compares these literary productions to the medieval carnival where for the duration of the carnival normal hierarchies of power were suspended, allowing participants to mock and burlesque those in authority.
Many historians have made use of Bakhtin’s theory outside of the world of literature, applying it to past events,and examining how different events allowed for the temporary inversion of power. Natalie Zemon Davis, for example, examines the role of gender inversion in the popular culture of early modern France. While many historians and anthropologists have argued that the temporary inversion of power of the “carnivalesque” ultimately serve to re-inforce normal power structures, Davis argues that carnivalesque inversions can also serve to undermine them.
Post-Modernism French philosopher and historian Michel Foucault theorized that “discourses” (meaning the ways in which we speak and think about our reality or some aspect of that reality) actually structure our reality and tin most instances are used to reinforce hierarchies of power, but can also be used to subvert these same hierarchies. Historians have applied Foucault’s theory to the past, examining how discourses in different times and places have been used to reinforce power.
Bengali historian Dipesh Chakrabarty, for example, examines how the discourse of history in the academic world continues to place Europe at the centre of historical studies, even in the study of places outside of Europe. Gender Studies Gender studies examines how notions of gender structure our reality. Gender studies have been influenced by post-modernism, arguing that gender is not a fixed category, but rather a social construction. Historians have used these theories to examine how the construction of gender functioned in the past, and to what end.