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ERIC Number: EJ1023385
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 21
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1071-4413
Toward a Critical Utopian and Pedagogical Methodology
Firth, Rhiannon
Review of Education, Pedagogy & Cultural Studies, v35 n4 p256-276 2013
This article explores the possibility of developing an ethico-politically coherent and practical research framework for studying the learning and knowledge-production and dissemination processes of utopian groups and movements. It seeks to develop understanding of utopias by identifying and conceptualizing their pedagogical aspects. At the same time it begins to develop a methodology that is appropriate for understanding the pedagogical processes of utopian communities through a critique of existing approaches. The purpose of this article is therefore to contribute to the construction of a research framework that does not take the current sociopolitical frame for granted, is critical of the status quo, open to difference and imaginative alternatives, and is nonhegemonic. The article begins with a consideration of the types of spaces and practices that the author is examining under the rubric of ''utopia,'' defending her use of this contested term. The author argues that there is limited space for studying and thinking about utopias in universities and in existing social theory, which exhibit a tendency to individualize collective praxis and recuperate their radical otherness for broader, hegemonic (or counter-hegemonic) aims. She then turns to a consideration of pedagogy as essential to defining, and studying, both utopian theory and practice. She then outlines the reasons that the established concepts and praxis associated with radical approaches to pedagogy including ''critical pedagogy'' and ''public pedagogy'' are inadequate for approaching the learning processes of practical utopian experiments. The author argues that their methodologies are insufficient because, whilst they move some way beyond the individualized, hierarchical, and recuperative practices of mainstream social theory and research practice, they still exhibit representative and potentially colonizing tendencies. In light of this critique she offers a defense of radical research, with the proviso that for research to remain radical one must critically rethink the nature of research, the conceptual relationship between research and pedagogy, and the embodied relationship between the researcher and participants.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A