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Re: [xmca] Understanding is no method but rather a form of communication
your post from Noam,
" But if you do something you can at least look at yourself in the mirror."
Seems to be the impulse which we all share. I also have said enough for
awhile, but this site is a "doing something" which helps me to look in the
mirror. Thank you for taking the time to reflect and asking generative
On Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 10:19 AM, Peter Smagorinsky <email@example.com> wrote:
> I fear I've already posted too much, to the point that one person has
> requested an unsubscribe from the list. So, to answer Martin's closing
> question, I'll simply post something that came in today from a very
> different source, who said that Noam Chomsky wrote him and said that the
> reason he keeps it up is:
> "If you do nothing, nothing will happen.
> If you do something, chances are nothing will happen.
> But if you do something you can at least look at yourself in the mirror."
> Peter Smagorinsky
> Distinguished Research Professor of English Education
> Department of Language and Literacy Education
> The University of Georgia
> 309 Aderhold Hall
> Athens, GA 30602
> Advisor, Journal of Language and Literacy Education
> Follow JoLLE on twitter @Jolle_uga
> -----Original Message-----
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On
> Behalf Of Martin Packer
> Sent: Thursday, July 19, 2012 1:10 PM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: Re: [xmca] Understanding is no method but rather a form of
> I am at fault for using the term 'emancipatory research' without defining
> it. It is research that aims to go beyond documenting, describing, some
> aspect of social reality and change it, overcoming or undoing injustice or
> exploitation of some kind. Like action research, it seeks to promote change
> in the status quo. Documenting is undoubtedly part of the process, but not
> the whole.
> Larry wrote of research that treats people not as objects but as subjects.
> I have no doubt that Ellen (my mistake) Cushman's personal motivation is
> above reproach, and I don't know her subsequent work, but this article
> seems to me to be still within that category of research that treats its
> subjects as objects. It says nice things about the people she studied, but
> rhetorically it is part of a dialogue with Henry Giroux and Peter McLaren.
> I don't say this to criticize her; I've done my share of this type of
> research, and the institutional pressures to produce it are great. But both
> action research and emancipatory research, as I understand them, would do
> something different.
> The question that I think it still unanswered is how best to approach such
> research. In a way Cushman's work makes the answer to that question even
> more mysterious. If it is the case, as she argues, that practitioners do
> not suffer from 'false consciousness,' that they already have 'critical
> consciousness,' but even so they are unable to change their circumstances,
> what on earth can an outsider do to help?
> On Jul 19, 2012, at 11:42 AM, Peter Smagorinsky wrote:
> > To me, documenting is what research does, so perhaps it's the whole
> enterprise of emancipatory research that I don't understand. It seems that
> if the conclusions are in place before the research begins, then one's
> activism could produce a high degree of selectivity in what is studied or
> concluded. I'm sure that others will disagree with me on this point, but to
> me, that's quite a problem.
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