Barriga O. y Henríquez G. 2005. El Plano Alfa del Objeto de Estudio. Cinta moebio 24: 246-252


The Alpha Plane of the Research Object

Omar A. Barriga ( Doctor en Sociología (PhD), Profesor Asociado, Departamento de Sociología, Universidad de Concepción (Chile).
Guillermo Henríquez A. ( Magíster en Ciencias Sociales, Profesor Asociado, Departamento de Sociología, Universidad de Concepción (Chile).


The step between identifying the Research Object that we want to observe and the development of a reference frame to guide the investigation, in our opinion, has not received adequate attention as we help train researchers. Our bibliographical searches give us suggestions as to which aspects are more relevant for the concretion of the object that interests us. This means that identifying relevant literature - theoretical, methodological, epistemological and empirical - is fundamental in order to define our conceptual Research Object (Barriga y Henríquez, 2003). In this paper we present a novel approach to thinking about our Research Object prior to identifying the corresponding literature so that we may consider an ample spectrum of bibliography and choose that which is most relevant to our Object on analytical grounds and not dogmatic ones.

We believe we have managed to reduce the multiplicity of theoretical, methodological and epistemological choices that face a researcher to two basic components that, when crossed, generate the alpha plane of the research object.

The first component reflects the nature of the Object in terms of its relationship to the individual subject and the second component reflects our investigative interest as we define our Research. The a-plane can be reduced to four quadrants that allow us to reflect widely on those theories, methodologies and epistemologies that are more adequate to face the Research Object that we have proposed, without falling into a priori favoritism.

Keywords: research methodology, epistemology, pedagogy.

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Cinta de Moebio
Revista de Epistemología de Ciencias Sociales
ISSN 0717-554X