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Scientific method is understood here as a master narrative that is based on modernist, Enlightenment values of scientific neutrality and objectivity. It is closely associated with a popular (although inaccurate) view of how knowledge is produced the natural sciences. The scientific method is often positioned as the ‘gold standard’ and used to discipline forms of social inquiry, including those based on post-positivism. Unreflexive or zealous application of the scientific method leads to ‘scientism’: principles and practices developed in the natural sciences are applied in areas of inquiry where their application is inappropriate and detrimental.
Self-reflexivity is a way for researchers to question things that they might otherwise take for granted, such as choices and decisions they make during the research process.