Why researchers that use statistics always propose hypothesis about associations between variables and try to prove cause-effect relations between them? And, vice versa, why political linguist tend to use discourse analysis to disclose cognitive manipulation by power-holders through the imposition of certain beliefs, which define the social behavior?
In this paper we propose the mapping of existed methods in social sciences, of methodological approaches which stand behind these methods and allow formulating research question, and of philosophical foundations or ontologies which explain what social reality is. Social research is driven not only by chosen methods, but also by approaches and ontology shared by researcher.
The key trends and publications in social sciences are reviewed in the article in order to reveal and present in a systematic way the changes in dominant research topics and methods of Internet research taking place since early 2000s as well as concomitant modifications in types of available data and in our understanding of the nature of Internet communications. Particular attention is paid to leading methodological innovations and to possibilities and challenges which arise as a leading function of online research shifts from an auxiliary “mirror” of conventional lab experiments, surveys and participant observations in a prevalent mode of research of global effects of micro-interactions and source of new “social phenomenology” for many research fields, including large scale experiments on the topics of social influence and cultural diffusion, political mobilization, etc.
Several approaches to the concept of fatherhood present in Western sociological tradition are analyzed and compared: biological determinism, social constructivism and biosocial theory. The problematics of fatherhood and men’s parental practices is marginalized in modern Russian social research devoted to family and this fact makes the traditional inequality in family relations, when the father’s role is considered secondary compared to that of mother, even stronger. However, in Western critical men’s studies several stages can be outlined: the development of “sex roles” paradigm (biological determinism), the emergence of the hegemonic masculinity concept, inter-disciplinary stage (biosocial theory). According to the approach of biological determinism, the role of a father is that of the patriarch, he continues the family line and serves as a model for his ascendants. Social constructivism looks into man’s functions in the family from the point of view of masculine pressure and establishing hegemony over a woman and children. Biosocial theory aims to unite the biological determinacy of fatherhood with social, cultural and personal context. It is shown that these approaches are directly connected with the level of the society development, marriage and family perceptions, the level of egality of gender order.