University of Rhode Island (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Page: 2659 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-616-2661-8
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-5 March, 2013
Location: Valencia, Spain
Our purpose is to share how we're constructing an ethnographic text by following a reflexive methodology (Mats Alvesson and Kaj Skoldberg).
It is our "way of doing knowledge." Our "process of knowledge development."

We will present data consisting of a self-constructed ethnographic text. We're a 'constructing and constructed' entity: three individuals dialoging in an electronic 'fishbowl.' In every fishbowl (20), we're generating subjectivities which are in the nature of felt-experiences and, we're developing abstractions that are based upon our belief systems. "Belief is whatever an individual is willing to accept without direct verification by experience or without the support of evidence, resulting in assumption which is taken as a basis for action or non-action." A belief is a lived abstraction.

Our maxim is that "the unexamined belief is not worth holding." For, a great many beliefs, once they're examined, prove to be worthless as indicators of truth or guides to experience, although they may serve to define identity and confer a sense of belonging.

The process of examining lived abstractions is the process of critical inquiry into the concepts and beliefs that operate on us. We will examine four concepts as examples of lived abstractions: Integrated Networking Structures; Dynamic Decision Making; Complex Adaptive Systems; and, Unique Innovation Capabilities. The first step in the examination is where our reflective mode starts. We follow the meaning of words and re-structure the opening syntax, thereby making sense for ourselves. In the second step, the attention turns "inwards" towards the individual, the person of the writer. One's personhood determines one's interpretations. In the third step, the center of the examination shifts to the perceptual, cognitive, textual, political and cultural circumstances that form the backdrop to our interpretations.

Why a process for examining a lived abstraction? Belief (and abstraction) drives behavior, but often belief (and abstraction) is not based on experience and so does not reach or reflect the intimately lived dimension of human existence. Ultimately, the problem introduced by belief is not a matter of believing versus non-believing. The true conflict here is between believing and learning. In our presentation we hope to make this distinction.
Abstractions, Belief Systems, Subjectivity, Experience, Process, Knowledge Development.