Abstract

Adult education practices are imbued with the relational and the material. Drawing on our empirical studies we explore the utility of Actor Network Theory and Institutional Ethnography—theoretically and methodologically—for adult education researchers. A brief theoretical overview of the two perspectives will highlight their convergences and divergences. We then introduce several methodological concepts to explore how IE and ANT encouraged us as researchers to unravel relations, bring relations into view, and attend to coordination/translation. Adult education is a disparate and complex field. Researchers may find the approaches useful in understanding the ways adult education practices are coordinated and connected.

Keywords

research methods, actor network theory, institutional ethnography, adult education, adult literacy, online communities

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Jun 10th, 6:14 PM

Institutional Ethnography and Actor Network Theory: The possibilities and challenges of exploring the relational in adult education research

Adult education practices are imbued with the relational and the material. Drawing on our empirical studies we explore the utility of Actor Network Theory and Institutional Ethnography—theoretically and methodologically—for adult education researchers. A brief theoretical overview of the two perspectives will highlight their convergences and divergences. We then introduce several methodological concepts to explore how IE and ANT encouraged us as researchers to unravel relations, bring relations into view, and attend to coordination/translation. Adult education is a disparate and complex field. Researchers may find the approaches useful in understanding the ways adult education practices are coordinated and connected.