Social Research Glossary


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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012-20, Social Research Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 19 December, 2019 , © Lee Harvey 2012–2020.


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core definition

Objectivism claims that knowedge exists and is waiting to be discovered, thus ignorong the role of meaning in the construction of knowledge.

explanatory context

Objectivism has two related but distinct meanings.


First, objectivism is an approach to knowledge/science that denies the systematic significance of the meaningful structuring of society. The role of mind, and thus of meaning in the social world is ignored.


Second, objectivism is a view that rejects knowledge as a social product. Instead it sees knowledge as an existent object to be discovered.


In both senses there is a tendency to distinguish between objective facts and subjective meaning

analytical review

Delanty and Strydom (2003, pp. 14) state:

Objectivism: on the basis of the separation of the subject and object of knowledge, the purely theoretical attitude of the uninvolved observer is adopted so that the focus is exclusively on the object, typically accompanied by the claim that there is no such thing as the subject or substantial self.

associated issues


related areas

See also



Researching the Real World Section 1.7 for a detailed discussion of objectivity and subjectivity


Delanty G. and Strydom, P., 2003, Philosophies of Social Science, London, McGraw-Hill.

copyright Lee Harvey 2012–2020


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