Epistemology is a branch of philosophy concerned with the theory of knowledge (Willig, 2008). Therefore I tend to adapt the philosophy of positivism for my research. Positivism suggests that there is a straightforward relationship between the world (objects, events, phenomena) and our perception, and understanding, of it. According to Kirk and Miller’s (1986) definition of positivism, it emphasizes positivism’s assumption that ‘the external world itself determines absolutely the one and only correct view that can be taken of it, independent of the process or circumstances of viewing’.
A positivist epistemology implies that the goal of research is to produce objective knowledge; that is, understanding that is impartial and unbiased, based on a view from ‘the outside’, without personal involvement or vested interests on the part of the researcher (Willig, 2008).
In accordance to the driving factors to why young people get involved in knife crime, the positivism philosophy allows me to look at all aspects from an objective perspective, which will therefore gain a better understanding for the youths involvements.
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