• critical social science;
  • emancipation;
  • interpretative;
  • research

This article reflects upon the research process that uses critical social science as its basis. Some of the common criticisms of critical social science research are rebutted by following the research trail taken by the authors when undertaking their own projects. The similarities and differences of critical social science and the interpretative methodologies are outlined in the selection of study area, the relationship of the researcher and participants, ethical issues, and data collection and analysis. The writers conclude that critical social science research reports that are correctly carried out should be firmly grounded in each of these stages, thereby providing a foundation for nursing and midwifery practice.