43.1 Questioning our own textual practices in the service of social justice

Wednesday, August 1, 2012: 9:00 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Lois ANDRE-BECHELY , California State University Los Angeles, Los Angeles
Institutional Ethnography provides us with a method of inquiry that can show how barriers in the form of organizational and textual practices happen as a result of the everyday work of institutions. The institutions that organize and coordinate the work of public education (state legislature, trustee boards, school districts, universities, etc.) often claim a social justice agenda as part of their institutional mission. However, institutional ethnographic research has uncovered the many ways in which people at work in organizational settings, as participants in the textual practices that make up their work, can, often unknowingly, limit access to resources, contribute to exclusion, and in essence undermine the very social justice values they include as part of their institutional goals. This paper will show how institutional ethnography and text analysis can be used to question and uncover the ways in which different organizational settings in public education can contribute to social injustice. It will provide a reflection on how the people at work in these educational settings might rethink and challenge existing practice, and textual practices, in particular, so that the work they do is, indeed, in the service of social justice, access and inclusion for those historically underrepresented and underserved in public education.