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Discomfort— Affects, Actors, and Objects in Ethnographic Intervention

Carolina Rojas Lasch

Chapter 4 Ethnography and Education Policy. A Critical Analysis of Normalcy and Difference in Schools

Abstract This chapter discusses the development of a productive circuit of observation and transformation of discursive practices regarding normalcy and difference in educational institutions. In addition, a conceptual and methodological analysis of the complex relationships between ethnography and intervention are presented. In working with educational institutions, both processes were nominally raised and sequentially planned as different processes. However, the boundaries between the ethnography and the intervention proved to be difficult to establish. This may be due to the fact that the study of the production of normalcy and difference is based on a political and transformational positioning that makes determining the limits of each impossible. Ethnography is a mode of intervention, and this intervention is nurtured, facilitated, and acquires meaning through ethnographic observation. In this chapter I focus specifically on interventions associated with a professional development process for practicing teachers, but also on a more general understanding of the process of creating public policy that considers difference. The chapter discusses the instruments used for documenting the ethnographies and intervention such that they may be used or replicated in future research studies.