Emancipatory research and composition studies: Feminist postmodern cultural studies and teacher research methodologies
Joanne Mary Addison
School: Purdue University (0183)
Date: 1995; pp: 123
Advisor: Sullivan, Patricia
Source: DAI-A 56/09, p. 3561, Mar 1996
Subjects: Language, General (0679); Education, Sociology Of (0340); Sociology, Social Structure And Development (0700)
ProQuest Document Number: 304215415
UMI Number: AAT 9601457
This work focuses on developing a theoretical and practical justification within the field of Composition for the use of emancipatory research in marginalized academic settings; it uses basic writing as its marginalized site. Broadly understood, emancipatory research is action based empirical work that is committed to bringing about social change through the empowering potential of the ‘radicalization’ of marginalized peoples, or a realization that what is often constructed as individual failure is actually a socio-political hegemonic construct that can be acted against. Emancipatory research is action based, grounded theoretically as a critical and collaborative interaction between researchers and participants, aims to revise the researcher/researched (or subject/object) relationship, and has important implications for issues of data analysis, subject representation, reliability and validity, and future research and pedagogy.
Chapter One outlines the potential importance of emancipatory research to Composition Studies through advocating a view of classrooms as sites of cultural and ideological struggle. It argues that empirical work is needed which not only addresses the political nature of education, but in marginalized sites can also act as a catalyst for change in the lives of the research participants. Chapter Two details the complex relationships that ground this understanding of emancipatory research: (a) feminist postmodernism; (b) cultural studies; and (c) teacher research. Chapter Three focuses on crucial issues of data analysis and subject representation in relation to emancipatory research emphasizing the role of the research participants in these processes. This involves redefining validity and reliability from both a practical and critical hermeneutics perspective, developing efficient means of documenting data sources, and critically examining and redefining the issues of subjectivity, resistance and collaboration from an emancipatory research perspective. Chapter Four addresses the potential uses of emancipatory research in basic writing through linking the work of the previous chapters explicitly to research in the area of basic writing as well as presenting examples of my own preliminary emancipatory research project in an urban basic writing classroom.