The turn of the year is often a time for reflection and making plans for the future. As a second year Phd, working toward a minimum time completion, in the next twelve months I’ll need to be making decisions about where to go next. Forward to new fields, back to old haunts. But the question really is – where is the best place to stand to do the work I want to do, and preceding that, what is the work I really want to do.
Change the world, is a given, but how to do that. The career I’ve already had has given me opportunities to work with individuals, institutions and entire national systems, in both the public and community sectors, alternatively focusing on education or gender – but how do I think change really happens and where do I believe I can make my most effective contribution?
How big a risk am I prepared to take to get to where I think I could make the most difference? I’ve been reading Bourdieu, and the idea that you unknowingly trim your goals to fit your chances resonates with me. But my interest is in changing chances, creating opportunities for young women who weren’t brought up to challenge the status quo to recognise, and then demonstrate and develop their capacity to lead social change. So, I should try and start with me. Without hedging my bets what is the work I really want to do, and where do I believe that work can best be done?
No answers today, and one of the critiques of Bourdieu’s work is that despite his engagement with practical politics, social change is not central to his model, so I wonder what critical theory might offer me, and how to blend it all with feminism? Clearly, to be continued…..