Toward a Critical Utopian and Pedagogical Methodology

Article


Firth, R. 2013. Toward a Critical Utopian and Pedagogical Methodology. Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies. 35 (4), pp. 256-276.
AuthorsFirth, R.
Abstract

This paper seeks to develop a methodology suitable for identifying and conceptualizing the pedagogical aspects of utopian communities and autonomous social movements that engage in prefigurative political practices. The paper describes ‘critical utopianism’ as an approach to social change that is anti- rather than counter-hegemonic and has affinities with epistemological and political anarchism. In practice, critical utopias include a range of spaces such as intentional communities, eco-villages, housing co-operatives and the temporary occupied spaces of autonomous social movements. There is limited space in universities and academic discourse for identifying and thinking about utopias, and particularly the pedagogical processes of such movements, because they exist purposefully beyond established formal institutions of politics and education and engage in practices that transgress individualist and hierarchical assumptions. It is argued that even radical approaches to studying such spaces, such as critical pedagogy and public pedagogy can exhibit essentializing and recuperative aspects when applied to utopias. The paper therefore suggests a new methodology inspired by anarchist, post-colonial and Deleuzian theory.

Keywordsutopian communities; pedagogy
JournalReview of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies
Journal citation35 (4), pp. 256-276
ISSN1556-3022
1071-4413
Year2013
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-ND
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10714413.2013.819721
Publication dates
Print28 Aug 2013
Publication process dates
Deposited12 Sep 2013
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https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/85w73

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