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Virtuous mess and wicked clarity: struggle in higher education research

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Virtuous mess and wicked clarity : struggle in higher education research. / McArthur, Jan.

In: Higher Education Research and Development, Vol. 31, No. 3, 2012, p. 419-430.

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McArthur, Jan. / Virtuous mess and wicked clarity : struggle in higher education research. In: Higher Education Research and Development. 2012 ; Vol. 31, No. 3. pp. 419-430.

Bibtex

@article{05a33638316e4baeb8d89b8fe9569fe4,
title = "Virtuous mess and wicked clarity: struggle in higher education research",
abstract = "This article considers the value of clarity – of theory, method and purposes – in educational research. It draws upon the work of early critical theorist, Theodor Adorno, and particularly his notion of negative dialectics and his challenge to the traditional dichotomy of theory and practice. Using the notions of virtuous mess and wicked clarity, I argue that we need to accept the messy, contingent nature of the social world we research. I further suggest that it then follows that such research can and should influence and change that world. The researcher is necessarily part of the world she researches and, once one accepts that, it is hard to sustain ethical or political isolation; it is hard to ignore the struggle.",
keywords = "Adorno, Negative Dialectics, Non-identity, Social Justice, Research methods",
author = "Jan McArthur",
year = "2012",
doi = "10.1080/07294360.2011.634380",
language = "English",
volume = "31",
pages = "419--430",
journal = "Higher Education Research and Development",
issn = "0729-4360",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "3",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Virtuous mess and wicked clarity

T2 - struggle in higher education research

AU - McArthur, Jan

PY - 2012

Y1 - 2012

N2 - This article considers the value of clarity – of theory, method and purposes – in educational research. It draws upon the work of early critical theorist, Theodor Adorno, and particularly his notion of negative dialectics and his challenge to the traditional dichotomy of theory and practice. Using the notions of virtuous mess and wicked clarity, I argue that we need to accept the messy, contingent nature of the social world we research. I further suggest that it then follows that such research can and should influence and change that world. The researcher is necessarily part of the world she researches and, once one accepts that, it is hard to sustain ethical or political isolation; it is hard to ignore the struggle.

AB - This article considers the value of clarity – of theory, method and purposes – in educational research. It draws upon the work of early critical theorist, Theodor Adorno, and particularly his notion of negative dialectics and his challenge to the traditional dichotomy of theory and practice. Using the notions of virtuous mess and wicked clarity, I argue that we need to accept the messy, contingent nature of the social world we research. I further suggest that it then follows that such research can and should influence and change that world. The researcher is necessarily part of the world she researches and, once one accepts that, it is hard to sustain ethical or political isolation; it is hard to ignore the struggle.

KW - Adorno

KW - Negative Dialectics

KW - Non-identity

KW - Social Justice

KW - Research methods

U2 - 10.1080/07294360.2011.634380

DO - 10.1080/07294360.2011.634380

M3 - Journal article

VL - 31

SP - 419

EP - 430

JO - Higher Education Research and Development

JF - Higher Education Research and Development

SN - 0729-4360

IS - 3

ER -