Critical Hermeneutics and Cross Cultural Insights: Implications for Professional Education
Critical hermeneutics and cross cultural literature about women's diverse ontologies and epistemologies constituted the research framework for a doctoral study about migrant women. In depth interviews with 30 women settling in Melbourne, Australia between 1975-1997 focused on eliciting their perspectives on what enabled or impeded their exercise of agency during resettlement. Their contact with publicly funded services and infrastructure was a key aspect of the narratives. The research paradigm was central in the thickness and trustworthiness of the material recorded, but is at odds with standard research methods taught in social work education and with empiricist research valued by governments in Australia. How can alternative methods more reflective of social reality gain currency in such formal settings?
Keywords: Hermeneutics, Cross cultural women's epistemologies, Cross cultural women's ontologies, Social work education, Social and community welfare education, Research methods, Research paradigms, Giving voice, Subjugated knowledges, Positivism, Empirical, Subjugated knowledges
Dr. Olga Bursian
Lecturer, School of Humanities, Communications and Social Sciences, Monash University Gippsland Campus