In this episode, I speak with Aaron M. Kuntz about his book, The Responsible Methodologist: Inquiry, Truth-Telling, and Social Justice (Left Coast Press, 2015). This book offers a thorough and much-needed interrogation of the role of research methodologist in today’s neo-liberalist era. Kuntz reflects upon the social and cultural structure that gave rise to the conventional role of a methodologist, a technocrat and middle-manager of knowledge production. He urges social and educational researchers in general, and research methodologists in particular, to move away from such a morally indifferent position and to encompass a social justice oriented approach to research. In his book, Kuntz also mobilizes the latest social theories from post-structuralism to new materialism to reconceptualize the meaning of truth and the responsibility of researchers.
This thought-provoking and beautifully executed book will bring the readers to the central issues and debates with which contemporary researchers and research methodologists have been wrestling. Aaron is inspiring, interesting, and humorous. I love to hear his intellectual journey from a literature student to an established qualitative methodologist.
It was a great pleasure to chat with Patricia Leavy on her new book, Low-Fat Love Stories (Sense Publishers, 2017, co-authored with Victoria Scotti). This interesting and inspiring book is a collection of short stories and artistic portraits focusing on women’s dissatisfying relationships. What makes these stories different from conventional fictions is that all the stories are based on extensive interviews with women of different ages and from different racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds across the United States. In the book, readers will read extremely candid and moving personal stories, identity struggles, and painstaking self-reflection. As a product of art-based research, the book also critically interrogates how popular culture shapes women’s self-perception, influences their understanding of romantic relationship, and eventually contributes to their sufferings of low self-esteem, depression, or anxiety. Dr. Leavy has so many insights to share about conducting art-based research. I enjoyed the entire conversation with her incredibly and my personal favorite part of the interview is her talking about how she conducted collaborative art-based research with artist, Victoria Scotti.
In this “New Books in Education” episode, I talked with Lucinda Carspecken on her new edited volume, Love in the Time of Ethnography: Essays on Connection as a Focus and Basis for Research.Carspecken is anthropologist and lecturer in the School of Education, Indiana University Bloomington. In this beautifully curated book, contributors from various social science disciplines—sociology, anthropology, education, psychology, etc.—explore different facets of a basic component of human life, love. The authors define love broadly to include affective feelings, expressions, practice and philosophy across different cultures and traditions. It not only reveals how affective feelings are deeply shaped by different cultural, social and political practice, but also examines love’s potential to transcend the boundaries between self and the other, to increase the solidarity among young activists, to overcome traumatic experiences, and to anchor the relationship between human beings and nature. While grounded in the ethnographic approach, the book also intentionally includes unconventional academic writings such as poems and autobiographies. Of particular interest is the discussion of love as a primary tenet in social science research methodology: the conceptualization of research praxis as love-in-action and the expatiation of the relationship between love and validity.
Since this October, I’ve joined the New Books Network as a host in the podcast channel “New Books in Education.” I will focus specifically on conducting author interviews with new books published in the field of qualitative inquiry. Now my first podcast episode is out and available for download.
In this episode, I talked with Dr. Karen Ross from the University of Massachusetts Boston on her book: Youth Encounter Programs in Israel: Pedagogy, Identity and Social Change (Syracuse University Press, 2017). It was very interesting and inspiring to talk with Karen!
Click here to read a short description of Karen’s book and listen to my interview: New Books in Education.