In this episode, I speak with Aaron M. Kuntz
about his book, The Responsible Methodologist: Inquiry, Truth-Telling, and Social Justice
(Left Coast Press, 2015). This book offers a thorough and much-needed interrogation of the role of research methodologist in today’s neo-liberalist era. Kuntz reflects upon the social and cultural structure that gave rise to the conventional role of a methodologist, a technocrat and middle-manager of knowledge production. He urges social and educational researchers in general, and research methodologists in particular, to move away from such a morally indifferent position and to encompass a social justice oriented approach to research. In his book, Kuntz also mobilizes the latest social theories from post-structuralism to new materialism to reconceptualize the meaning of truth and the responsibility of researchers.
This thought-provoking and beautifully executed book will bring the readers to the central issues and debates with which contemporary researchers and research methodologists have been wrestling. It will be of interest to research methodologists, social and educational researchers, and professionals doing social justice work across different domains.
Pengfei Zhao holds a doctoral degree in Inquiry Methodology from Indiana University-Bloomington. Among her research interests are qualitative research methodology, youth culture, identity formation, and comparative sociological and educational studies. She is currently working on a book manuscript studying the coming of age experience of rural Chinese youth during and right after the Cultural Revolution.