Browsing Education by Subjects
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Challenging Convention(s): Methodological Explorations in Contemporary Qualitative InquiryBased on a recent inaugural lecture, this article presents a critical appreciation and analysis of the application of different research methodologies to selected social and educational research contexts. The analysis is set against the backdrop of an ontological question concerning the possibility of truth. Specifically, it seeks to explore the untenability of any notion of absolute truth in contemporary qualitative inquiry, and examine the corollary implications for determining the nature, role and status of research. It is argued that the ability to challenge convention offers both the possibility and productive capacity to unsettle dominant research methodologies, while also critiquing normative social and professional research practices. Utilising three contrasting methodological frameworks: Gadamerian hermeneutics; Foucauldian theory; and Lacanian psychoanalytic theory; the narrative follows a journey of personal development and shows how seemingly different and diverse theoretical perspectives can reveal critical new insights on contemporary social research issues and practices, cultures and communities.
Dangerous liaisons: youth sport, citizenship and intergenerational mistrustThis paper reflects on and offers a critical analysis of the relationship between youth sport and citizenship development, in practice and in the UK policy context of sports coaching and physical education. While deploying data and insights from a recently completed research project in England, which identified substantial tensions in intergenerational relationships in sport and coaching, the argument and analysis also invokes wider international concerns and more generally applicable implications for policy and practice. Drawing heuristically upon the philosophy of Dewey (2007 ), it is recognised that the concept of citizenship as a form of social practice should seek to encourage the development of complementary traits and dispositions in young people. To develop socially and educationally thus entails engagement in meaningful social and cultural activity, of which one potentially significant component is participation in youth sport, both within and outside formal education. However, it is argued that any confident assumption that sporting and coaching contexts will necessarily foster positive traits and dispositions in young people should be considered dubious and misplaced. Deploying a Lacanian (1981) perspective to interpret our data, we contend that ‘liaisons’ and interactions between coaches and young people are often treated suspiciously, and regarded as potentially ‘dangerous’.
Queer and Uncanny: An Ethnographic Critique of Female Natural BodybuildingThis article presents an ethnographic critique of the corporeal experiences of women as self-proclaimed natural bodybuilders. Drawing on detailed ethnographic work and interviews with 10 female naturals, a bricolage of multiply gendered identities and affiliations is produced. The analysis questions how in working to a “natural ethic,” while desiring a “deviant aesthetic,” the female bodybuilder is paradoxically repressed by a “natural gendered order.” The narrative draws reflexively on psychoanalytic theory and transgendered perspectives, to examine the cultural concept: natural as a “queer” and “uncanny” paradox in which gender and identity are made and simultaneously dislocated.