In this chapter we provide an overview of the third part of the book, Destabilizing Power and Authority: Taking intersectionality seriously. We focus on epistemological issues of what can be known and how, challenging dominant and hegemonic discourses and presenting alternative perspectives/knowledge. We do this by detailing the epistemological underpinnings of the third symposium and presenting the knowledge produced during this symposium using participatory visual methodologies – namely word collages. The chapter closes with an overview of the three chapters comprising this part. These chapters seek to interrogate, from an intersectional perspective, the legitimization of knowledge in scholarship, funding and evidence-based practices in comparative and international education. Two questions guide this part’s focus: (1) How can CIE investigate power and authority dynamics and their implications for gender and education research and practice? (2) In what ways can research and practice destabilize and transform knowledge hierarchies?
The purpose of this introductory chapter is to identify and situate the key questions and issues taken up in the volume and its constitutive essays, as well as presenting an overview of the main lines of theoretical debate and development reflected in the contributions: coloniality/decolonization; power; voice and re-presentation; and intersectionality. The authors highlight the volume’s central premise: that radical, inclusive and decolonizing change is imperative for the field of comparative and international education (CIE) research and practice. After first framing the volume as part of a continuing conversation begun at the 2017 CIES Symposium of the same name (“Interrogating and Innovating CIE Research”), the authors then identify and discuss some of the key theoretical debates and questions emergent from the Symposium activities and conversations and extended by the volume contributors, including issues related to identifying and understanding the problem(s), ideas for change, as well as assessing the opportunities and challenges for affecting meaningful and sustained changes in the way CIE researchers think about and do their work. Following this, the chapter presents the organization of the book and shares highlights from each of the contributing chapters, showing how the different pieces respond to, build on and extend the Symposium dialogue and calls to action.
Conversations related to epistemology and methodology have been present in comparative and international education (CIE) since the field’s inception. How CIE phenomena are studied, the questions asked, the tools used, and ideas about knowledge and reality that they reflect, shape the nature of the knowledge produced, the valuing of that knowledge, and the implications for practice in diverse societies. This book is part of a growing conversation in which the ways that standardized practices in CIE research have functioned to reproduce problematic hierarchies, silences and exclusions of diverse peoples, societies, knowledges, and realities. Argued is that there must be recognition and understanding of the negative consequences of hegemonic onto-epistemologies and methodologies in CIE, dominantly sourced in European social science traditions, that continue to shape and influence the design, implementation and dissemination/application of CIE research knowledge. Yet, while critical reflection is necessary, it alone is insufficient to realize the transformative change called for: as students, researchers, practitioners and policymakers, we must hear and heed calls for concrete action to challenge, resist and transform the status quo in the field and work to further realize a more ethical and inclusive CIE.
Interrogating and Innovating Comparative and International Research presents a series of conceptual and empirically-based essays that critically explore and problematize the dominance of Eurocentric epistemological and methodological traditions in CIE research. As an action-oriented volume, the contributions do not end with critique, rather suggestions are made and orientations modelled from different perspectives about the possibilities for change in CIE.
Contributors are: Emily Anderson, Supriya Baily, Gerardo L. Blanco, Alisha Braun, Erik Jon Byker, Meagan Call-Cummings, Brendan J. DeCoster, D. Brent Edwards Jr., Sothy Eng, Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher, Jeremy Gombin-Sperling, Kelly Grace, Radhika Iyengar, Huma Kidwai, Lê Minh Hằng, Caroline Manion, Patricia S. Parker, Leigh Patel, Timothy D. Reedy, Karen Ross, Betsy Scotto-Lavino, Payal P. Shah, Derrick Tu, and Matthew A. Witenstein.