This international and interdisciplinary collection gathers stories from researchers and research students about their methodological encounters with critical realism. Whether the contributors are experienced or novice researchers, they are predominantly new to critical realism. For various reasons, as the contributors’ detail, they have all been drawn to critical realism.

It is well known that critical realism can be bewildering and even overwhelming to newcomers, especially to those unfamiliar with language of, and without a grounding in, philosophy. While there are now numerous and important introductory and applied critical realist texts that make critical realism more accessible to a broader audience, stories from newcomers have been absent – especially as part of a single collection.

The significance and uniqueness of this collection lies in its documentation of first-hand reflective insights on the practical use and implementation of critical realism. The contributors feature critical realist inspired research journeys in Australia, England, Scotland, Belgium, Sweden, and Spain.

The hope of this book is that the stories and accounts presented in it will inspire – or at least sufficiently arouse – the curiosity of others to explore critical realist possibilities, which we believe offer enormous value to serious researchers across and within all disciplines and subjects who are interested in rigorous intellectual work with a socially progressive purpose.

chapter 1|13 pages


Journeying through Critical Realism
ByAlpesh Maisuria, Grant Banfield

chapter 2|15 pages

A Detective, Physicist, and Historian Walk into a Bar

Abduction, Retroduction, and Retrodiction in Critical Realist Evaluations
ByDidier Boost, Björn Blom, Peter Raeymaeckers

chapter 3|12 pages

Bridging the Gap Between Philosophy and Empirical Research

A Critical Realist Methodology Using Quantitative Methods
ByCatherine Hastings

chapter 4|10 pages

Parent Engagement in Student Learning

Using Critical Realism to Uncover the Generative Mechanisms Needed for Teachers to Embrace Parent Engagement in Their Teaching Practice
ByCatherine Mary Quinn

chapter 5|12 pages

On The Anti-Imperialist Possibilities of Critical Realism

ByOmar Kaissi

chapter 6|14 pages

Cobbling Together Methods for a Coherent Critical Realist Methodology

Searching for Mechanisms
ByBree Weizenegger

chapter 8|8 pages

The Utility of Critical Realism in Indigenous Research

ByCassandra Diamond

chapter 9|10 pages

The Spatiality of School Choice

A Critical Realist Quantitative Geography of Education?
ByAnna-Maria Fjellman

chapter 10|14 pages

Real Men, Real Violence

Critical Realism and the Search for the Masculine Subject
ByBen Wadham

chapter 11|9 pages

The Critical Realist Toolkit

ByEllenah Mackie

chapter 12|15 pages

Journeys to Critical Realism

A Conversation about Spirituality, Love, and Human Emancipation
ByLoretta Geuenich, Celina Valente, Grant Banfield

chapter 13|13 pages

A Kind of Conclusion

Against Full-Stops and Bookends?
ByAlpesh Maisuria, Grant Banfield