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Toward a problematic of silence in action research

Mazzei, Lisa A. (2007) Toward a problematic of silence in action research. ISSN 0965-0792

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Abstract

Action researchers often generate large amounts of textual material in the form of notes and transcripts, failing to account for those thoughts that we and our research participants silently voice. As such, action research that attempts to engage practitioners in self reflexivity and textual analysis is a fertile site for a consideration of how silences are used in research settings to communicate meanings previously ignored because they were unspoken. In order to consider these silences as purposeful strategic moves on the part of research participants, I propose a problematic of silence that allows the silences to breathe and speak. This problematic of silence attempts to interrupt fixed notions of what counts as text and speech in our researching of the social and seeks to engage the limits of research in order to allow the spoken silences to be present in the textual records of educational action research.

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