Rationality, Governmentality, Natio(norm)ality? Shaping Social Science, Scientific Objects, and the Invisible

Bernadette Baker


The discipline of education in Anglophone-dominant contexts has always grappled with a kind of status anxiety relative to other disciplines. This is in part due to the ways in which evidence has been thought about in the theoretico-experimental sciences relative to the ethico-redemptive ones. By examining that which was considered to fall to the side of science, even of social science, this paper complexifies contemporary debates over educational science and research, including debates over evidence-based education or assumed divisions between the quantitative/qualitative and empirical/conceptual. It reapproaches historical vagaries in discourses of vision that underscore the arbitrariness of approaches to social scientific research and its objects. A less-considered set of spatializations and regionalisms in social scientific conceptions of rationality especially are exposed through a close reading of the Harvard University philosopher William James' more marginalized texts.

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JCT: Journal of Curriculum Theorizing is an interdisciplinary journal of curriculum studies. It offers an academic forum for scholarly discussions of curriculum. Historically aligned with the "reconceptualist" movement in curriculum theorizing and oriented toward informing and affecting classroom practice, JCT presents compelling pieces within forms that challenge disciplinary, genre, and textual boundaries.

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