Methodology, Fake Learning, and Emotional Performativity

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Abstract

Purpose
Academics are at the forefront of criticisms about so-called “fake news” considered to undermine evidence-based approaches to the understanding of complex social, political, and economic issues. However, universities contribute to the production of fake news through the legitimization of measures that promote student performativity rewarding their nonacademic non-achievements. This conceptual article will seek to illustrate how this can occur via the writing of methodology chapters by postgraduate students.
Design/Approach/Methods
This article provides a critical analysis of the writing of methodology chapters in dissertations and theses in postgraduate education in the social sciences. In so doing, it applies the concept of performativity to student learning.
Findings
It is argued that the pressures on students to comply with the requirements of emotional performativity in respect to ideology and method in close-up, qualitative research can lead to fake learning. This phenomenon may be exemplified by reference to a number of practices, namely, phony positionality, methodolatry, ethical cleansing, participatory posturing, and symbolic citation.
Originality/Value
This article provides an illustration of the concept of student performativity. It demonstrates that emotional performativity plays a significant role in the way in which students are required to comply with expectations that give rise to inauthenticity in learning
Original languageEnglish
JournalECNU Review of Education
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2021

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