Methodology, the Western, and myself: the West/non-West binary in a non-Western educational researcher's pursuit for a PhD

Saito, Akihiro (2011) Methodology, the Western, and myself: the West/non-West binary in a non-Western educational researcher's pursuit for a PhD. In: Beyond binaries in education research. Routledge Research in Education . Routledge, New York, USA, pp. 17-26. ISBN 978-0-415-88512-6

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Abstract

Contemporary educational research, as other social science disciplines, is embedded in Western intellectual traditions. Such is a reiterated motif in non-Western academia as well as cross-cultural research. Where methods and methodologies as invented in one geographical place are deemed as foreign, there arises a suspicion: 'Are those foreign methods and methodologies valid in our local context?' Although this question appears to posit a valuable thought-provoking vantage point for a non-Western researcher, there seems to lurk a dualism that perpetuates the binary relationship of West versus Non-West. This chapter depicts how the author as a non-Western educational researcher sought to reconcile this binary through an ongoing dialogue with his inner self as a non-Westerner about the identity formation of himself, of the founders of methods and methodologies, and of non-Western academia. The chapter is structured through four stages. First, I lay a backdrop to the chapter in which I retrospect on my experience that gave rise to and guided my reflection on the binary. Second, I tell a narrative of the nation to which I (am purported to) belong so as to restore historicity that recontextualises the binary. Third, I seek to unfix the subject positions that conform to the binary discourse in the context of performance and performativity. Fourth, I identify the way a dualism operates behind the suspicion. I argue the validity of methodologies cannot be dismissed on the mere basis of the dualism undergirded in the use of essentialist categories revolving around the discourse of binary: the foreign as other versus the local as self. Such a methodological distrust seems to be valuable, but in reality it is circular and limiting. It fails to be reflexive about its own dichotomous assumptions.


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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Chapter 2. Permanent restricted access to paper due to publisher copyright restrictions. Print copy held in the USQ Library at call no. 370.72 Bey.
Depositing User: Mr Akihiro Saito
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2010 00:02
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2014 05:52
Uncontrolled Keywords: education research; education; research; binary opposites; West; non-West
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1999 Other Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 199999 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing not elsewhere classified
16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160809 Sociology of Education
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2203 Philosophy > 220317 Poststructuralism
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200209 Multicultural, Intercultural and Cross-cultural Studies
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2202 History and Philosophy of Specific Fields > 220208 History and Philosophy of the Social Sciences
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/8513

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