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Doctoral seminar: ‘Politics’
MHAC Building

Doctoral seminar: ‘Politics’

13 February 2014
10:00-12:00, BL1108

Please prepare for the seminar by reading two of the recommended readings (one from each section), and reflecting on them and the following questions in relation to your research. If you have other readings that you have found useful for thinking about the politics of your own research and that will diversify our perspectives, please send references so that we can recommend them to the group.

In future seminars, I would like to dedicate the first ten or fifteen minutes to one scholar’s interpretation of the theme in relation to their own doctoral research. Please have a look at the remaining seminars and consider which you would be most interested in initiating. We will firm up plans when we meet.

Questions to consider

What are the politics and ethics of your research? Who and what are you undertaking it for, and what are its potential social and political implications? Where do concerns about power emerge in the formulation of themes and questions, methodological design, fieldwork and practice, analysis and interpretation, and application and publication? Are these concerns of a primarily moral, ethical or political nature? What knowledge and tools can we draw on in order to ensure critical and constructive responses to these concerns?

Texts

Applied educational research / evidence-based practice

Roger Dale (2005) ‘Applied education politics or political sociology of education? Contrasting approaches to the study of recent education reform in England and Wales’ in D. Halpin and B. Troyna (eds) Researching Education Policy: Ethical and Methodological Issues, London: Routledge.

Andrew Gitlin and Audrey Thompson (1995) ‘Foregrounding politics in action research’, McGill Journal of Education, 30(2): 131–147.

Martin Hammersley (2001) ‘Some questions about evidence-based practice in education’, paper presented at the symposium on “Evidence-based practice in education” at the Annual Conference of the British Educational Research Association, University of Leeds, England, September 13-15.

Karen Vaughan (2004) ‘Total eclipse of the heart? Theoretical and ethical implications of doing post-structural ethnographic research’, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 25(3): 389–403.

Political subjectivities in research

Cynthia Dillard (2006) ‘The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen: examining an endarkened feminist epistemology in educational research and leadership’; International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 13(6): 661–681.

Michelle Fine (1994) ‘Dis-stance and other stances: negotiations of power inside feminist research’ in A. Gitlin (ed.) Power and Method: Political Activism and Educational Research, London: Routledge.

Karen Potts and Leslie Brown (2005) ‘Becoming an anti-oppressive researcher’ in Leslie Brown and Susan Strega (eds) Research as Resistance: Critical, Indigenous and Anti-Oppressive Approaches, Toronto: Canada Scholars Press/Women’s Press.

Anne Ryen (2000) ‘Colonial methodology? Methodological challenges to cross-cultural projects collecting data by structured interviews’ in Carole Truman, Donna Mertens, Beth Humphries (eds) Research and Inequality, London: UCL Press.

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