Politics, knowledge and objectivity in sociology of education: a response to the case for 'ethical reflexivity' by Gewirtz and Cribb

Abraham, John (2008) Politics, knowledge and objectivity in sociology of education: a response to the case for 'ethical reflexivity' by Gewirtz and Cribb. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 29 (5). pp. 537-548. ISSN 01425692

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Abstract

The present article examines the relationship between political values and social research, with particular reference to the case for ethical reflexivity in sociology of education put forward by Gewirtz and Cribb. It is argued that their case for such reflexivity is flawed by conceptual imprecision and over-determination of the links between value commitments, knowledge and the political implications of research. Drawing on a case study of a controversy in sociology of education, combined with a more discriminating conceptual analysis of political values in social research, it is suggested that the Gewirtz-Cribb 'manifesto' for routine ethical reflexivity may be inefficient and impractical. An alternative way of thinking about political reflexivity in sociology of education is offered, as are some possible avenues of philosophical resolution between the main protagonists of the longstanding debate on 'what to do about values' in sociology of education.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Depositing User: John Abraham
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:50
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2012 15:24
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/22491
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