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Strong and Smart Towards a Pedagogy for Emancipation

Author: Chris Sarra
Publisher: Routledge
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Strong and Smart – Towards a Pedagogy for Emancipation tells the story of how Dr Chris Sarra overcame low expectations for his future to become an educator who has sought to change the tide of low expectations for other Indigenous students. The book draws upon Roy Bhaskar’s theory of Critical Realism to demonstrate how Indigenous people have agency and can take control of their own emancipation. Sarra shows that it is important for Indigenous students to have confidence in their own strength and ability to be as "able" as any other group within society. The book also compares and contrasts White perceptions of what it is to be Indigenous and Indigenous views of what it is to be an Aboriginal Australian. The book calls for Indigenous Australians to radically transform and not simply reproduce the identity that Mainstream White Australia has sought to foster for them. Here the book explores in what ways Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are "othered" by White Australians. Sarra seeks to advance the novel position that it is OK to be other to White Australia. The question becomes, "which other?" The Indigenous Student should not be treated as the Feared and/or Despised Other, nor should they be coerced into wholly assimilating into White culture.


Indigenist Critical Realism

Author: Gracelyn Smallwood
Publisher: Routledge
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Indigenist Critical Realism: Human Rights and First Australians’ Wellbeing consists of a defence of what is popularly known as the Human Rights Agenda in Indigenous Affairs in Australia. It begins with a consideration of the non-well-being of Indigenous Australians, then unfolding a personal narrative of the author Dr Gracelyn Smallwood's family. This narrative is designed not only to position the author in the book but also in its typicality to represent what has happened to so many Indigenous families in Australia. The book then moves to a critical engagement with dominant intellectual positions such as those advanced by commentators such as Noel Pearson, Peter Sutton, Gary Johns and Keith Windschuttle. The author argues that intellectuals such as these have to a great extent colonised what passes for common sense in mainstream Australia. This common sense straddles the domains of history, health and education and Dr Smallwood has chosen to follow her adversaries into all of these areas. This critique is anchored by a number of key philosophical concepts developed by the Critical Realist philosopher Roy Bhaskar. The book advances and analyses a number of case studies - some well-known, even notorious such as the Hindmarsh Island Affair (South Australia) and the Northern Territory Intervention; others like that of the author's late nephew Lyji Vaggs (Qld) and Aboriginal Elder May Dunne (Qld) much less so. Representing one of the first attempts to engage at a critical and intellectual level in this debate by an Indigenous activist, this book is essential reading for students and scholars interested in Critical Realism and colonialism.


Enlightened Common Sense

Author: Roy Bhaskar
Publisher: Routledge
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Since the 1970s, critical realism has grown to address a range of subjects, including economics, philosophy, science, and religion. It has become a complex and mature philosophy. Enlightened Common Sense: The Philosophy of Critical Realism looks back over this development in one concise and accessible volume. The late Roy Bhaskar was critical realism’s philosophical originator and chief exponent. He draws on a lifetime’s experience to give a definitive, systematic account of this increasingly influential, international and multidisciplinary approach. Critical realism’s key element has always been its vindication and deepening of our understanding of ontology. Arguing that realist ontology is inexorable in knowledge and action, Bhaskar sees this as the key to a new enlightened common sense. From the definition of critical realism and its applicability in the social sciences, to explanation of dialectical critical realism and the philosophy of metaReality, this is the essential introduction for students of critical realism.


Critical Realism for Marxist Sociology of Education

Author: Grant Banfield
Publisher: Routledge
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This book offers a critical realist intervention into the field of Marxist Sociology of Education. Critical realism, as developed by British philosopher Roy Bhaskar, is known for its capacity to serve as a conceptual underlabourer to applied fields like education. Indeed, its success in clarifying and resolving thorny issues of educational theory and practice is now well established. Given critical realism’s sympathetic Marxist origins, its productive and critical engagement with Marxism has an even longer history. To date there has been little sustained attention given to the application of critical realism to Marxist educational praxis. The book addresses this gap in existing scholarship. Its conceptual ground clearing of the field of Marxist Sociology of Education centres on two problematics well-known in the social sciences: naturalism and the structure-agency relation. Marxist theory from the days of Marx to the present is shown to also be haunted by these problematics. This has resulted in considerable tension around the meaning and nature of, for example, reform, revolution, class determinism and class struggle. With its emergence in the 1970s as a child of Western Marxism, the field continues to be an expression of these tensions that seriously limit its transformative potential. Addressing these issues and offering conceptual clarification in the interests of revolutionary educational practice, Critical Realism for Marxist Sociology of Education provides a new perspective on education which will be of interest to students, scholars and practitioners alike.