Emancipatory Discourse and Liberation

Joseph A. Raelin
  • Management Learning, November 2008, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1177/1350507608096039

What is it about?

This paper takes up an important question that has puzzled learning theorists in the critical tradition, namely, are the dialogic practices of emancipatory discourse sufficient to change oppressive conditions in the power structure of modern organization? In other words, can critical dialogic processes change the social order to close the gap between a privileged class of managers and workers, or do we require class struggle and structural reform? By elaborating on such methods as dialogue, public reflection, and action science, the author attempts to make the case that marginalized groups in society might find their voice in projects that are intentionally contextualized and publicly reflective. These methods have found applications in some illustrated critical pedagogies, though not without strain induced from conventional institutions. The paper concludes with an enumeration of some conditions under which emancipatory discourse and liberationist struggle may coincide.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1350507608096039

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