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ERIC Number: ED479148
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Apr
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
The Truth and Harriet Martineau: Interpreting a Life.
Weiner, Gaby
This paper explores the difficulty of claims to truth in the analysis of the life of the Victorian feminist, reformer, educationist, and celebrity, Harriet Martineau (1802-76). She was widely known as a truthful person. For example, her contemporary, the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, wrote in 1845 that "her love of the truth is proverbial among her friends, and even among such are averse from her present views." It is argued, however, that predating the ideas of the French philosopher Michel Foucault by a century or more, Martineau recognized an essential element of truth production--that truth is linked in a circular relation with systems of power which produce and sustain it, and to effects of power which it induces and which extend it (Foucault, 1980). Her strategies for placing boundaries around the truths that could be spoken about her, provide an example of how regimes of truth are created and how social eminence may be grasped and sustained. Martineau recognized that control of communication was crucial to the advancement of her truth. The paper contributes to debates regarding the value of auto/biographical approaches in educational and historical research, in particular in relation to women. (Contains 30 references.) (Author/BT)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A