Theoretical Orientations: Critical Theory and Related Theories for Activism

  • lisahunter
  • Elke Emerald
  • Gregory Martin
Part of the Explorations of Educational Purpose book series (EXEP, volume 26)


The previous chapter gave a brief historical overview of the action research (AR) family and its salient features, forces and moments. AR is sometimes critiqued for its weak theoretical foundations, as practitioners may appear to be simply doing what seems to work, rather than being guided by principled theory. We address this in relation to a particular theory of action that underwrites PAtR. This is our point of departure from some other approaches, as we do not pretend research is objective or neutral. This chapter will briefly describe some of the history, philosophy and nature of the theory, critical theory (CT), that has influenced many action research methodologies generally (although at times obfuscated) and that we are foregrounding as the essential feature of PAtR. Just as all spokes in a wheel emanate from the central hub, so too all actions in PAtR emanate from critical theory.


Critical Theory Female Genital Mutilation Feminist Theory Critical Pedagogy Critical Race Theory 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • lisahunter
    • 1
    • 2
  • Elke Emerald
    • 3
  • Gregory Martin
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Sport and LeisureThe University of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand
  2. 2.School of Human Movement StudiesThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.School of Education and Professional StudiesGriffith UniversitySouthportAustralia
  4. 4.University of Technology SydneySydney,Australia

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