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Overcoming the Difficulties Associated With Using Conceptual and Theoretical Frameworks in Heritage Studies

Overcoming the Difficulties Associated With Using Conceptual and Theoretical Frameworks in Heritage Studies
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Author(s): Patrick Ngulube (University of South Africa, South Africa)
Copyright: 2018
Pages: 23
Source title: Handbook of Research on Heritage Management and Preservation
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patrick Ngulube (University of South Africa, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3137-1.ch001

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Abstract

This chapter discusses the use of conceptual and theoretical frameworks in social science research with a focus on heritage studies. Incorporating theory or developing a conceptual framework is a critical part of the research design process. It assists in explaining the issue under study and refining the research questions. Linking theory and empirical constructs is fundamental to both quantitative and qualitative research, although some studies suggest that this is something that a number of researchers in the latter research tradition tend to ignore. Theories provide a theoretical framework for conceptualising research. Without a theoretical or a conceptual framework, the analysis of the findings results in a mere narration. Many researchers encounter difficulties in distinguishing between and using a conceptual framework and a theoretical framework as research tools. There are recurring doubts about their utility in the research endeavour and how one might select a good theory. Consequently, there is limited engagement with theory.

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