What is realism?
Realist and critical realists approach requires researchers
to go beyond developing credible theories to exhausting all possible causal
explanations for emergence (Bunt 2016). Critical Realists regard themselves as
philosophical under-labourers insofar as they use multi-layered frameworks and
interdisciplinary approaches to critical inquiry (Bhaskar 2016). Realism is an
emancipatory project as well as an approach to research, which recognises the
complex and somewhat unpredictable nature of the social world. For instance,
people respond to health interventions in diverse ways; choosing to utilise or
reject the resources available to them. The realist endeavour in health sciences
research is to examine ‘what works for whom, under what circumstances, and how’,
to improve practice and the lives of social care recipients (Pawson 1997).