The deployment of 'Asia as Method' concept in education research in the contexts of decolonisation, deimperialization and de-cold war

Year: 2017

Author: Zhang, Hongzhi, Chan, Phillip, Yang, Cunzhen

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Abstract:
The deployment of 'Asia as Method' concept in education research in the contexts of decolonisation, deimperialization and de-cold war

In confronting the long lasting habitual thought and practices that Western theories are often dominating and adopted in an unproblematic manner in academic research and intellectual studies, Chen's notion of 'Asia as method' (2010) provides an alternative intellectual perspective and an innovative 'research imagination' (Zhang, Chan & Kenway, 2015). This notion also provides a ground-breaking standpoint and methodology that have the potential to advance a different understanding of the world history. However, Chen's 'Asia as method' is still a new terrain in educational research and requires more researchers' involvement. The purpose of this paper is to discuss how 'Asia as Method' concept has been deployed in education research and in what ways such deployment has been influenced by the different contexts.

This paper first examines Chen's notion of 'Asia and method' in globalising contexts where the ideologies of colonialism, imperialism and Cold war still exist. Our focusing questions are: 'what is Asia?', 'what is method?' and 'what is Asia as method?'. Second, based on an extensive literature review, this paper further discusses how 'Asia as Method' concept has been adopted in relevant disciplines and advanced particular understandings in educational studies. By bringing together the existing literature, this paper contributes to provide information on how 'Asia as method' has been deployed and how it can be drawn on as innovative methodology in educational studies. We argue that, as Chen proposes by the term 'Asia as method', decolonization, deimperialization and de-cold war are the central aspects to justify its application. We also advise that the Asian and 'Third world' societies in the similar contexts become each other's reference point rather than always using West as benchmark in the intellectual studies.

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