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Lay theories in comparative research

Schulte, Barbara LU (2017) 9th Annual ADI Conference
Abstract
The paper addresses the theoretical concept and methodological usefulness of 'lay theories' for conducting comparative research. 'Lay knowledge' is a well-researched concept particularly in medicine and health (e.g. Williams & Popay 2006), even if often regarded as an 'obstacle' that needs to be overcome in order to spread 'proper' scientific, medical knowledge. Critical studies within medicine have pointed to the disadvantages of neglecting lay knowledges, and the negative consequences from the growing distance between modern medicine and the lay populace (Williams & Calnan 1996). Scholars within this strand of research maintain that the exclusive focus on 'experts' ignores the social nature of humans and human creativity (Popay... (More)
The paper addresses the theoretical concept and methodological usefulness of 'lay theories' for conducting comparative research. 'Lay knowledge' is a well-researched concept particularly in medicine and health (e.g. Williams & Popay 2006), even if often regarded as an 'obstacle' that needs to be overcome in order to spread 'proper' scientific, medical knowledge. Critical studies within medicine have pointed to the disadvantages of neglecting lay knowledges, and the negative consequences from the growing distance between modern medicine and the lay populace (Williams & Calnan 1996). Scholars within this strand of research maintain that the exclusive focus on 'experts' ignores the social nature of humans and human creativity (Popay et al. 1998).

Not only regarding health, but also many other processes and knowledge bodies in the social world, the lay populace harbors their own theories of 'how things work'. From a heuristic point of view, lay people with translocal experiences, i.e. people who are in a position to compare, have the undeniable advantage of being able to test their theories in different settings. However, there is a lack of research that systematically assesses and compares translocal lay comparisons.

The paper will explore the productivity of this approach by drawing on two empirical examples: Swedish youth's comparative experiences with their Chinese peers' use of information and communication technologies; and Chinese parents' comparative experiences with different systems of schooling (China, Sweden, Germany). (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to conference
publication status
published
subject
keywords
lay comparison, lay theory, comparative education
conference name
9th Annual ADI Conference
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
0dc5de88-d46a-4b27-bf80-b900d65a7d74
date added to LUP
2017-12-07 10:48:24
date last changed
2017-12-07 13:21:54
@misc{0dc5de88-d46a-4b27-bf80-b900d65a7d74,
  abstract     = {The paper addresses the theoretical concept and methodological usefulness of 'lay theories' for conducting comparative research. 'Lay knowledge' is a well-researched concept particularly in medicine and health (e.g. Williams &amp; Popay 2006), even if often regarded as an 'obstacle' that needs to be overcome in order to spread 'proper' scientific, medical knowledge. Critical studies within medicine have pointed to the disadvantages of neglecting lay knowledges, and the negative consequences from the growing distance between modern medicine and the lay populace (Williams &amp; Calnan 1996). Scholars within this strand of research maintain that the exclusive focus on 'experts' ignores the social nature of humans and human creativity (Popay et al. 1998).<br>
<br>
Not only regarding health, but also many other processes and knowledge bodies in the social world, the lay populace harbors their own theories of 'how things work'. From a heuristic point of view, lay people with translocal experiences, i.e. people who are in a position to compare, have the undeniable advantage of being able to test their theories in different settings. However, there is a lack of research that systematically assesses and compares translocal lay comparisons.<br>
<br>
The paper will explore the productivity of this approach by drawing on two empirical examples: Swedish youth's comparative experiences with their Chinese peers' use of information and communication technologies; and Chinese parents' comparative experiences with different systems of schooling (China, Sweden, Germany).},
  author       = {Schulte, Barbara},
  keyword      = {lay comparison,lay theory,comparative education},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {Lay theories in comparative research},
  year         = {2017},
}