Reading stories of inclusion : engaging with different perspectives towards an agenda for inclusion
The twist towards having narrative and story telling methods in social sciences is yielding rich harvest of research conclusions. This method is a way of vitaii2ing the relationship between policy and practice. It is a technique that provides a more meaningful and creative practitioner- service-user relationship and a better understanding of professional sound practices. Being an ocular-centred community, we need to analyse what is happening and to read stores that are close to the reality we are succumbed to. These are stories that transcend from the people to the people, rather than from the researchers/academics to researchers/ academics. Narratives are often intersected by multiple allegiances ranging from a historical context to political conformity, from grass-root struggles to social constructions and cultural hegemonisation, from researcher consent to economic agendas. Maybe the most complex of all issues is not the presentation of stories but to figure out and recognise what constitutes a story, defining story limits, recognising the usefulness of narration and finally reflecting whether the morale of narrations is context-bound. This work is based on the power of stories. This research becomes the process of not only identifying the complex dynamics and snags surrounding the "inclusion" agenda I am engrossed in, but also maps out a way to get back on track and to come up with answers. The core of my research lies in my semi-fictitious stories that I have written and relocated back to the varied contexts I am involved in using focus groups as my modus operandi. Conversely, this scenario is complemented by autobiographies I assembled from disabled persons, a parent activist and a 'labelled' student. In other words, it is an enmeshment of auto-ethnographic and narrative enquiry. This work has contributed towards an understanding of the ways the stories of children at the margins can be used to promote critical debates about "inclusion". The different perspectives of parent and disabled activists, university students, labelled students, teachers, and social workers - all contexts I am closely involved with, are drawn upon to inform a transformative agenda and to outline practices that enable "inclusion". The work is split into three main portions. The first part includes the Preamble, Introduction and Literature Review and provides us with the main ingredients that have fashioned my thinking. The second part of my Thesis includes the Methods and Methodological issues in depth and the narratives, autobiographies and auto-ethnographic findings that have made up my research base. Finally, part three of this study will take account of the data analysis and the mapping out of a transformative agenda, the conclusions and commitments.