Using Critical Praxis and Activism to Create Uncomfortable Spaces
Chapter 5: Deepening Understandings and Beginning to Unsettle Things
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DEEPENING UNDERSTANDINGS AND BEGINNING TO UNSETTLE THINGS
As my research gained momentum, it became evident that the reflexive dyadic interviews (Kincheloe & Berry, 2004) I was using were doing more than just excavating the What is? of gender beliefs and practices in and across Wheatville. They were also providing spaces for a collaborative rethink of long-held beliefs and assumptions about gender to occur. In making “asymmetries of power and privilege” (McLaren, 2003b, p. 193) transparent, those of us involved in the research act could not help but question them. We began to resee, reflect on, and rethink previously unquestioned social norms, assumptions, and discursive constructions. This led to a reimagining of what could or should be. Such reconceptualizations transgressed into elements of the second phase of the inquiry, intervention, and self-discovery cycle (see Figure 4.1, p. 59)—What could or should be? and What can I do about it? The blurring of paradigmatic boundaries between critical ethnographic practices and critical consciousness-raising is in keeping with the complexity and interconnectivity that is fundamental to bricolage.
This chapter hones and extends the broad sociodiagnostic critique begun in Chapter 1. As it is an extensive chapter, it has been divided into two sections. Part A presents multiple sources of evidence exploring how gender was being constituted and performed in Wheatville’s schools; Part B explores ← 83 | 84 → how gender was being constituted and performed in and across the wider community of Wheatville. The two parts of the...
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