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Contested positions: how fiction informs empathic research

  • Education
  • Social Sciences


Abstract This article uses fiction and critical theory to explore the concept of empathy. Empathy has become one of the most contested concepts in the postmodern revisioning of the social sciences (Simon, 2000). Empathy assumes that we can profoundly understand the experiences of the Other, despite the radical cultural differences that divide us. I present two fictional narratives in which an educational researcher named Martha West examines both the promise and peril of research informed by empathy.

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