The International Journal of Critical Pedagogy

What Are We Listening For? (Participatory Action) Research and Embodied Social Listening to the Permanence of Anti-Black Racism in Education

Patricia Krueger-Henney


Drawing on critical bodies studies, the author conceptualizes “embodied social listening” as a senses-driven engagement with the structures and ideologies of anti-Black racism and how these mark and reshape human life.  The author argues that it is through embodied social listening that education researchers can strengthen their intentionalities to documenting materially and discursively absorbed racism in the social spaces of Black lives.  Connecting embodied social listening to participatory action research (PAR) suggests that its purpose is not be treated as an activity separate from the PAR process, but rather to be exercised as a central anticipatory type of action that implicates individual co-researcher with anti-Black racism, with each other, and with the research process. The author concludes with a few points of deliberation that apply Chela Sandoval’s notion of radical love to listening in PAR to fight anti-Black racism with political education and social mobilization.


anti-Black racism; listening; radical love; participatory action research

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