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CRITICAL PARADIGMS OF

SOCIAL RESEARCH
© LOUIS COHEN, LAWRENCE MANION
& KEITH MORRISON

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 A deliberately political reading of education and research IDEOLOGY CRITIQUE FEMINIST PARTICIPATORY RESEARCH POLITICAL RESEARCH PARTICIPATORY ACTION RESEARCH CRITICAL ETHNOGRAPHY POST-COLONIAL THEORY QUEER THEORY .

CRITICAL APPROACHES (MACRO AND MICRO) EQUALITY INTERESTS POWER FREEDOM NORMATIVE EMANCIPATION SOCIAL JUSTICE .

HABERMAS’S KNOWLEDGECONSTITUTIVE INTERESTS TECHNICAL INTEREST Prediction & Control HERMENEUTIC/ PRACTICAL INTEREST Understanding & Interpretation EMANCIPATORY INTEREST Emancipation & Freedom .

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 .

.g. Research with a practical intent. development and improvement to their lives. community groups) themselves establish/implement interventions to bring about change. Research with people and communities rather than doing research to or for people and communities. for transforming lives and communities.PARTICIPATORY RESEARCH (Bottom-up research) Groups (e. Ordinary people are entirely capable of reflective and critical analysis of their situation. making the practical more political and the political more practical. acting collectively rather than individually.

value-laden dimensions and purposes of feminist research are paramount. •Substantive. equality. . •Research must empower women. feature as a substantive agenda/focus in research. their history. •Women’s issues. •Challenge the acceptability and notion of objectivity and objective research. voice and representation. empowerment.FEMINIST RESEARCH •The asymmetry of gender relations and representation must be studied reflexively. biography and biology. exploitation. •Raising of consciousness of oppression.

Women must collectivize their own individual histories if they are to appropriate these histories for emancipation. Insistence on the inseparability of theory and practice. Concern with the construction and reproduction of gender and sexual difference. Commitment to revealing core processes and recurring features of women’s oppression. between the domestic and the political. Rejection of narrow disciplinary boundaries.FEMINIST RESEARCH • • • • • • • Research need not only be undertaken by academic experts. . Insistence on the connections between the private and the public.

introspective biographical research techniques. Primacy of women’s personal subjective experience. Rejection of positivism and objectivity as male mythology. The research process as consciousness and awareness raising and as fundamentally participatory. Increased use of qualitative. . Rejection of hierarchies in social research. Recognition of the gendered nature of social research and the development of anti-sexist research strategies.FEMINIST RESEARCH • • • • • • • Rejection of the artificial subject/researcher dualism.

Research as a process of conscientization.FEMINIST RESEARCH • • • • The vertical. oppressed. in which the research itself is an instrument of domination and the reproduction and legitimation of power elites. to empower oppressed participants. . exploited groups. not just to understand or interpret it. Recognition of equal status and reciprocal relationships between subjects and researchers. must be replaced by research that promotes the interests of dominated. Need to change the status quo. hierarchical relationships of researchers/research community and research objects.

•Construction of identities in a post-colonial world. •Regard in which peoples in post-colonial societies are held. domination and repression. •Resistance to marginalization of groups within postcolonial societies. •Valorization of multiple voices and heterogeneity in post-colonial societies. . or continuation. of ideologies and discourses of imperialism. •After-effects of colonialism on the daily lived experiences of participants.g.POST-COLONIAL THEORY •After-effects. value systems (e. the domination of western values and the delegitimization of non-Western values).

Queer is by definition whatever is at odds with the normal.g. e. the legitimate. sexual behaviour.interrogates gender. . • Halperin (1997: 62): Queer theory ‘acquires its meaning from its oppositional relation to the norm. disability. problematizes.QUEER THEORY • Queer theory explores the social construction and privileging or denial of identities. the dominant’. • Queer theory explores. social class. deviant behaviour and the categorizations and ideologies involved in such constructions. sexuality and also their mediation by other characteristics or forms of oppression. ethnicity. colour.