David Silverman (1993). “Beginning Research”. Interpreting Qualitative Data. Methods for Analysing Talk,Text and Interaction. Londres: Sage Publications.
A methodology is a general approach to studying a research topic. It establishes how one will go about studying any phenomenon. In social research, examples of methodologies are positivism (which seeks to discover laws using quantitative methods) and, of course, qualitative methodology (which is often concerned with inducing hypotheses from field research). Like theories, methodologies cannot be true or false, only more or less useful.
Finally, methods are specific research techniques. These include quantitative techniques, like
statistical correlations, as well as techniques like observation, interviewing and audio-recording. Once again, in themselves, techniques are not true or false. They are more or less useful, depending on their fit with the theories and methodologies being used, the hypothesis being tested and/or the research topic that is selected So for instance, positivists will favour quantitative methods and interactionists often prefer to gather their data by observation. But, depending upon the hypothesisbeing tested, positivists may sometimes use qualitative methods -for instance in the exploratory stageof research. Equally, interactionists may sometimes use simple quantitative methods, particularlywhen they want to find an overall pattern in their data.