Rethinking Critical Theory and Qualitative Research

Joe L. Kincheloe and Peter L. McLaren

This chapter addresses concerns of critical theory in qualitative research. The authors are giving an overview of different aspects of CT.  In general, this article is much less jarring to my sensibilities, and more in line with what I expect from an overview / definition.  On the other hand, this article is nowhere near so comprehensive in examining the background information related to critical theory.

Kincheloe and McLaren focus very heavily on the social aspects of critical theory, and how the different branches interplay with social underpinnings and understandings. I find this very interesting in understanding the framing of the current political debates. Critical theorists would argue that the Occupy Wall Street movement is definitely asking the right questions. Why is unemployment so high, while corporations, such as Bank of America, are earning record profits? (p 147). We don’t need more tax breaks, why would you think we do? We’re in more debt than ever!

Would a business who is suffering financially start reducing the price at which it sells goods?  Why, then, do we as a nation think we should reduce taxes?  Critical theory doesn’t look at these questions as rhetorical, rather they attempt to understand the answers to these difficult questions so that meaningful answers can be found.

About jslist

I am a doctoral student at NCSU. I teach.
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