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Author Friesen, Norm
Source ACM Digital Library
Content type Text
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
File Format HTM / HTML
Language English
Abstract Critical theory designates a philosophy and a research methodology that focuses on the interrelated issues of technology, politics and social change. Despite its emphasis on technology, critical theory arguably remains underutilized in areas of practical research that lie at the confluence of social, political and technological concerns, such as the study of the use of the usability of information and communication technologies (ICTs) or of their use in educational institutions. This paper addresses this situation by first describing the methodology of ideology critique. This critical methodology operates comparatively, by "measuring" consensual truths against actual social conditions. In doing so, it frequently shows these truisms to have the quality of mystifications or "myths," claims possessing a "false clarity" and that are misleading in developing and justifying research plans and priorities. Focusing on the specific example of e-learning (or the use of ICTs in education), this paper shows how critical theory can be used to "de-mystify" three particular truths or myths. These are claims that 1) we live in a "knowledge economy," 2) that users enjoy ubiquitous, "anywhere anytime" access, and 3) that social and institutional change is motivated by a number of fixed "laws" of progress in computer technology. These claims are shown to simplify or obscure a complex social reality that is constituted by different and conflicting forms of knowledge, and these claims are shown to work to the benefit of interests that are hegemonic and conservative in nature.
Description Affiliation: Thompson Rivers University (Friesen, Norm)
Age Range 18 to 22 years ♦ above 22 year
Educational Use Research
Education Level UG and PG
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 2015-06-29
Publisher Place New York
Journal Ubiquity (UBIQ)
Volume Number 2008
Issue Number June


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Source: ACM Digital Library