chapter  4
14 Pages

Interpretivist Epistemology

WithColleen A. Capper

This chapter explores whether and how theories associated with the human resource and symbolic frame could be recast toward social justice ends. An interpretivist epistemology of organizations focuses on social life interactions and the meaning of these interactions as perceived by individuals, rather than so-called objective reality. Educators who adopt the interpretivist epistemology posit that schools as "organizations are socially constructed and exist only in the perceptions of people". Individuals are viewed as interdependent, dependent on others. Interpretivist epistemologies and research methodologies focus on participant meaning and understanding, patterns of behavior, and feelings of persons which undergird qualitative research methodologies. Educators addressing diversity and difference from an interpretivist epistemology perhaps unknowingly favor charity over justice. Students of color and their families are also viewed as deficient – that difference equals deficient, that intrinsic student learning and life potential remains limited.