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Critical social theory and comparative education’s imagined interlocutors

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Abstract:

This paper reviews the diverse traditions of critical social theory and assesses their prospects for comparative education scholarship. First, the paper identifies the roots of critical social theory in Marxist and Weberian problematics of capitalist exploitation and rationalization; then the paper traces the twists, elaborations, and “friendly” challenges to such theory in the work of Gramsci, the Frankfurt School, Habermas, Bourdieu, Foucault, feminism, and postcolonialism, which together are still generally acknowledged as contributors to a critical social theory tradition; the paper proceeds then to open up the tradition to even more heterogeneous sources of critical social thought, from M.H. Gandhi to B. de Sousa Santos, from B. Kingsolver to A. Roy. Finally, the paper considers the ways that critical social theory is and could be taken up in comparative education scholarship. The suggestion is made that insofar as critical social theory does inform comparative education, it is still through a conventional model of insular academic knowledge production oriented toward higher education pedagogy or policy elites. What might it look like to shift comparative education practice toward communities or social movements in struggle for educational justice and liberation?

Author's Keywords:

Critical Social Theory
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
URL:
http://www.cies.us


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p494091_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Levinson, Bradley. "Critical social theory and comparative education’s imagined interlocutors" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p494091_index.html>

APA Citation:

Levinson, B. "Critical social theory and comparative education’s imagined interlocutors" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p494091_index.html

Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: This paper reviews the diverse traditions of critical social theory and assesses their prospects for comparative education scholarship. First, the paper identifies the roots of critical social theory in Marxist and Weberian problematics of capitalist exploitation and rationalization; then the paper traces the twists, elaborations, and “friendly” challenges to such theory in the work of Gramsci, the Frankfurt School, Habermas, Bourdieu, Foucault, feminism, and postcolonialism, which together are still generally acknowledged as contributors to a critical social theory tradition; the paper proceeds then to open up the tradition to even more heterogeneous sources of critical social thought, from M.H. Gandhi to B. de Sousa Santos, from B. Kingsolver to A. Roy. Finally, the paper considers the ways that critical social theory is and could be taken up in comparative education scholarship. The suggestion is made that insofar as critical social theory does inform comparative education, it is still through a conventional model of insular academic knowledge production oriented toward higher education pedagogy or policy elites. What might it look like to shift comparative education practice toward communities or social movements in struggle for educational justice and liberation?


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