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A Critical Action Research Reader


Patricia H. Hinchey

Since its inception, action research has been the subject of confusion and controversy. Can something be research if it doesn’t «prove» anything? Can something be action research if it’s a project run by an expert who does not consider participants co-researchers? Questions multiply when the general term is limited to critical action research. What makes critical action research different from action research generally?
Can the action research project of a classroom teacher intended to raise standardized test scores properly be considered critical? Is there a role for advocacy in any enterprise calling itself research? If critical action research is distinct from traditional empirical research, then what formats make sense for sharing results? This highly diverse collection of previously unpublished and published works offers a sampling of opinions on key theoretical and methodological questions, complemented by a wide range of critical action research reports illustrating what various theories look like in practice. The book provides a sketch of the topography of critical action research terrain and illuminates some diverse paths through it.
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2 Deploying Qualitative Methods for Critical Social Purposes


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Deploying Qualitative Methods for Critical Social Purposes

Gaile S. Cannella and Yvonna S. Lincoln

Twenty years ago, in her Harvard Educational Review article, Elizabeth Ellsworth (1989) questioned the assumption that critical perspectives or critical research were either empowering or transformative. She argued that critical theory was embedded within patriarchal forms of reason, Enlightenment logic, and male domination, such that the attempted adoption of a critical lens can easily create the illusion of justice while actually reinscribing old forms of power.

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