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Methodology of decolonizing gender and international development : a view from China Ling, Mee Lain

Abstract

This research study is an analysis, which I undertook during my internship at UNESCO Office Beijing, of a multilateral inter-governmental agency's Gender and Development conceptual framework in education and implementation of this framework in education at the field office level. By deconstructing dominant paradigms of development, the study makes a case that international development and Gender and Development paradigms are shot through with hegemonic feminist and dominant development thought which operate to mutually reinforce each other. In wishing to go beyond a project of deconstruction that implicates "first world developers" and Euroamerican-orientated feminists, this study then shifts to another path. The goal of this path is to extend on Chela Sandoval's (2000) Methodology of the Oppressed to identify and specify a methodology of decolonizing. This methodology is one which aims to look at possible psychological and ideological aspects of decolonizing mind and heart in development. This approach is profoundly shaped by Linda Tuhiwai Smith's (1999) work and aims to continue a theme she speaks to in Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. Combining this with using love collectively as social movement, this methodology of decolonizing seeks to contribute to the increasing resistance and agitation among a diverse array of thinkers to transform development's dominant paradigm. Throughout, I aim to make transparent my herstory, motivations, and locations from which I approach this research topic as well as my personal journey through decolonizing transformations. This journey is stirred by personal experiences of 'awakening' that have been inspired by conversations with friends, family, comrades-in-struggle and UNESCO Beijing colleagues, and guided primarily by the works of Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Chela Sandoval, Arturo Escobar, Desmond Tutu, Chandra Talpade Mohanty, James Fadiman and Robert Frager, Gloria Anzaldua, bell hooks, Audre Lorde, Patricia Monture-Angus, Aihwa Ong, Trinh T. Minh-ha and Cornel West, among many other admirable activists striving for greater humanity in today's world of gross inequalities.

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