'Outsiders within'? Deconstructing the educational administration scholar

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Wilkinson, Jane
Eacott, Scott
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2013
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In this paper, we weave the auto-ethnographic narratives of the two authors with Bourdieu's key concepts of habitus, field and capital, as we seek to bring to a level of explicitness the reflexive lens which has shaped our scholarly work. In particular, we examine the process of becoming educational administration academics who share a scholarly disposition towards critical approaches to theory and practice. Such a location positions our work as marginal at best in educational administration scholarship and research, for it is a field characterized primarily by an orientation towards problem-solving and scientific rationality. We explore how our positioning as 'outsiders within' the field, combined with our multiple positions in fields such as feminism, unionism, schools and academia, has shaped a disposition towards critical scholarship. We suggest that the resources, which a disposition towards the critical may engender, are urgently required forms of capital at a time when there may be a powerful political investment in ignoring or overlooking the moral, ethical and political life force of educational administration scholarship as a potentially fertile site of intellectual activity.

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International Journal of Leadership in Education

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16

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2

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Education not elsewhere classified

Specialist Studies in Education

Education Systems

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