STRUCTURE OF THE CHAPTER Critical theory and critical educational research Criticisms of approaches from critical theory Critical theory and curriculum research Participatory research and critical theory Feminist research Post-colonial theory and queer theory
CRITICAL THEORETICAL PARTICIPATORY ACTION RESEARCH PARTICIPATORY RESEARCH CRITICAL ETHNOGRAPHY IDEOLOGY CRITIQUE FEMINIST POLITICAL RESEARCH A deliberately political reading of education and research POST-COLONIAL THEORY QUEER THEORY
CRITICAL APPROACHES (MACRO AND MICRO) EQUALITY POWER EMANCIPATION FREEDOM NORMATIVESOCIAL JUSTICE INTERESTS
IDEOLOGY CRITIQUE DESCRIBE EXISTING SITUATION UNDERSTAND REASONS FOR EXISTING SITUATION INTERROGATE LEGITIMACY OF REASONS FOR/CAUSES OF EXISTING SITUATION SET AN AGENDA TO IMPROVE THE EXISTING SITUATION
PARTICIPATORY RESEARCH (Bottom-up research) Groups (e.g. community groups) themselves establish/implement interventions to bring about change, development and improvement to their lives, acting collectively rather than individually. Research with people and communities rather than doing research to or for people and communities. Ordinary people are entirely capable of reflective and critical analysis of their situation. Research with a practical intent, for transforming lives and communities, making the practical more political and the political more practical.
FEMINIST RESEARCH The asymmetry of gender relations and representation must be studied reflexively; Women’s issues, their history, biography and biology, feature as a substantive agenda/focus in research; Raising of consciousness of oppression, exploitation, empowerment, equality, voice and representation; Challenge the acceptability and notion of objectivity and objective research; Substantive, value-laden dimensions and purposes of feminist research are paramount; Research must empower women;
FEMINIST RESEARCH Research need not only be undertaken by academic experts; Women must collectivize their own individual histories if they are to appropriate these histories for emancipation; Commitment to revealing core processes and recurring features of women’s oppression; Insistence on the inseparability of theory and practice; Insistence on the connections between the private and the public, between the domestic and the political; Concern with the construction and reproduction of gender and sexual difference; Rejection of narrow disciplinary boundaries;
FEMINIST RESEARCH Rejection of the artificial subject/researcher dualism; Rejection of positivism and objectivity as male mythology; Increased use of qualitative, introspective biographical research techniques; Recognition of the gendered nature of social research and the development of anti-sexist research strategies; The research process as consciousness and awareness raising and as fundamentally participatory; Primacy of women’s personal subjective experience; Rejection of hierarchies in social research;
FEMINIST RESEARCH The vertical, hierarchical relationships of researchers/research community and research objects, in which the research itself is an instrument of domination and the reproduction and legitimation of power elites, must be replaced by research that promotes the interests of dominated, oppressed, exploited groups; Recognition of equal status and reciprocal relationships between subjects and researchers; Need to change the status quo, not just to understand or interpret it; Research as a process of conscientization, to empower oppressed participants.
POST-COLONIAL THEORY After-effects, or continuation, of ideologies and discourses of imperialism, domination and repression, value systems (e.g. the domination of western values and the delegitimization of non-Western values); After-effects of colonialism on the daily lived experiences of participants; Regard in which peoples in post-colonial societies are held; Valorization of multiple voices and heterogeneity in post-colonial societies; Resistance to marginalization of groups within post- colonial societies; Construction of identities in a post-colonial world.
QUEER THEORY Queer theory explores the social construction and privileging or denial of identities, sexual behaviour, deviant behaviour and the categorizations and ideologies involved in such constructions. Halperin (1997: 62): Queer theory ‘acquires its meaning from its oppositional relation to the norm. Queer is by definition whatever is at odds with the normal, the legitimate, the dominant’. Queer theory explores, problematizes,interrogates gender, sexuality and also their mediation by other characteristics or forms of oppression, e.g. social class, ethnicity, colour, disability.