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Identity, Legitimacy, and Language: Subtleties of Music Education Research in the Non-Singular World

  • Nasim Niknafs
Chapter
Part of the Landscapes: the Arts, Aesthetics, and Education book series (LAAE, volume 23)

Abstract

All levels of conducting research involve a consistent understanding of the phenomenon under study. The purpose of the research, research problem and questions, data collection, various data analysis approaches, and interpretation of the results all demand an understanding that is not exclusive of how researchers experience the world around them. This understanding is a complex process that cannot be categorized into distinct stages, rather a consistent and at times diverse set values unify them. The manifold and diverse cultural referents researchers experience lead them to an approach to research in music education that is inclusive of all their past experiences, current understanding of the world around them, and possible future aspirations. Within such context, one needs take into account the questions of researcher identity –both psychological and sociological –, language –how is the knowledge represented and interpreted? Who is involved in the process of knowledge making and what roles do they have?–, and legitimacy –who has the right to create the knowledge? Whose knowledge is it? What kind of knowledge is worthwhile? This essay explores the ways in which the multitude of theoretical frameworks - based on one’s ethnicity, race, socio-political background, and overall perception of the world - guide and inform the research questions and their specific methodologies in a domain that is increasingly leaning toward a pluralistic approach to music education research. In the non-singular world that we live in today with its highly interactive and networked inhabitants, one cannot overlook the significance of politics and criticality in conducting research and knowledge creation. With the fast-paced geopolitical, economic, and sociocultural changing world, and the movement of populations across the globe for various political and economic reasons, one needs to adapt, regenerate and develop new understandings, meanings, values, and approaches, and take to account the question of power hierarchy.

Keywords

Culture Identity Language Legitimacy Music education Representation Research Tolerance Translation 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Music Education, Faculty of MusicUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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