Strange Bedfellows: Critical Realism & Ethnography in Education

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


An early-term PhD candidate in Education, I will outline the philosophy and methodology for my PhD project. This presentation will explore the capacity of British philosopher Roy Bhaskar’s (1944-2014) Critical Realism (e.g. A Realist Theory of Science, 1975; The Possibility of Naturalism 1979) to ‘underlabour’ the research methodology of Ethnography. In the context of education research, there is no limit to the usefulness of these concepts. The ‘philosophical tools’ of critical realism will be illustrated, drawing on the work of Bhaskar, Archer, and other prominent critical realists. The presentation will then explore how this might relate to ethnography as a ‘critical realist ethnography’ and the researcher's journey towards an understanding of the relationship between this complex philosophy, and methodology. Ultimately, some observations and learning will be shared, and some practical take aways offered for those considering critical realism and ethnography for their research.
Period19 Jun 2018
Event titleCollege of Education, Psychology and Social Work Higher Degree by Research Conference: Thinking, Doing, Learning
Event typeConference
LocationBedford Park, Australia, South AustraliaShow on map
Degree of RecognitionLocal