Methodologies of research into gender and other social differences within a multi-faceted conception of social justice

Evans, Jeff and Tsatsaroni, Anna (2008) Methodologies of research into gender and other social differences within a multi-faceted conception of social justice. Adults Learning Mathematics: An International Journal, 3 (1). pp. 13-31. ISSN 1744-1803

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Abstract

Our discussion of social justice begins by embracing both distribution and recognition aspects of social relations (Vincent, 2003). The first aspect considers the way that goods, knowledge, skills, rights, etc. are distributed among social groups; the second aspect focuses on aspects of society structuring social encounters and relations – modes of communication, 'treatment', respect. Our approach to social justice focuses not only on the dimension of gender, but also on social class and ethnicity: we consider that concern with these latter forms is crucial for a full appreciation of the structural and the interactional aspects conveyed by the concept (Arnot, 2002; Gillborn & Mirza, 2000). In methodological terms we argue that researching the questions posed by a social justice agenda, will require both 'quantitative' and 'qualitative' methods – within any substantial research programme, and even within individual studies. Our emphasis on the theoretical aspects of formulating a research problem points to the importance of a third facet of social justice, to do with representation and power. We discuss several examples of fruitfully combining different aspects of social justice and multiple methods of research. In particular, we argue that considerations of social justice, and a related „hybrid‟ methodology, will play a crucial role in our ongoing study of the (re)production of images of mathematics in popular culture, and in particular advertising.

Item Type:Article
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Special issue on The future of mathematics in adult education from gender perspectives.

Research Areas:School of Science and Technology > Design Engineering and Mathematics
School of Health and Education > Education
ID Code:1699
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Deposited On:24 Mar 2009 17:22
Last Modified:13 May 2014 15:47

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