ERIC Number: ED365616
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
A Culturally Sensitive Analysis of Culture in the Context of Context: When Is Enough Enough?
Kahn, Peter H., Jr.
Cultural context is not the sole source of human knowledge. Postmodern theory, in both its deconstructionist and affirmative approaches, offers an incomplete basis by which to study race, class, and gender, and undermines ethical interaction. Deconstructionism calls for the abandonment of generalizable research findings, asserting that the concept of generalizability itself is flawed. If culture and context are all, the result is an increasingly factionalist society, with increasingly splintered groups increasingly battling one another for power. While affirmative postmodernism argues for pluralism as well, it does not suggest that such pluralism must lead to relativism. The affirmative postmodernists favor a form of democracy that promotes individual and minority group empowerment. Such a view appears to require a rejection of postmodern epistemology in favor of universal criteria. Much can be gained from a study of culture and context if theory systematically embeds within it the study of differences and similarities. Theoretical work on such topics as multicultural education and multi- and cross-cultural views of nature and moral life underscores such an approach. Such ideas can heighten the commitment to discovering and building upon common ground and differences among people, thereby helping advance knowledge and ethical sensibilities. (Contains 54 references.) (SG)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (New Orleans, LA, March 1993).