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dc.contributor.authorHodge, Steven
dc.contributor.authorParker, Stephen
dc.contributor.editorLynch, Julianne
dc.contributor.editorRowlands, Julie
dc.contributor.editorGale, Trevor
dc.contributor.editorParker, Stephen
dc.description.abstractThe concept of social imaginaries is beginning to appear in education research, especially among critical researchers. In this literature, reference is consistently made to the work of Anderson, Castoriadis, Appadurai and Taylor. Among these thinkers, imaginaries are the shared yet tacit understandings about people, society and the world that are conveyed in a variety of ways including images, stories, sayings and popular ideas. Education researchers sometimes deploy the concept in investigations of interactions between policy and practice with a particular emphasis on what is taken to be the problematic spread and implementation of ‘neoliberal’ ideas in education practices. Comparison of the theory of social imaginaries with its appropriation in education research suggests that a number of researchers use the concept in a relatively limited and unjustifiably prescriptive way. In this chapter, we take the work of Charles Taylor as a reference point to examine this development of a methodology of imaginaries in critical education research. Taylor’s account places imaginaries within the broader methodological notion of ‘the background’ which refers to a complex, layered cultural construction. A survey of Taylor’s account of ‘modernity’ raises questions about the isolated use of the concept of social imaginaries seen in some education research and about the assumption social imaginaries can be the subject of intervention to bring about preferred educational futures. We argue that before the concept of social imaginaries can effectively inform methodologies for understanding and criticising education practices, researchers need to make more systematic use of the concept, in particular taking into account origins, background and tractability.
dc.publisherTaylor & Francis
dc.relation.ispartofbooktitlePractice Methodologies in Education Research
dc.subject.fieldofresearchEducation Systems
dc.titleSocial imaginaries in education research
dc.typeBook chapter
dc.type.descriptionB1 - Chapters
dcterms.bibliographicCitationHodge, S; Parker, S, Social imaginaries in education research, Practice Methodologies in Education Research, 2020, pp. 144-165
gro.hasfulltextNo Full Text
gro.griffith.authorHodge, Steven M.

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