Paradoxes unbounded

Practising community making


  • Tess Maginess Queen's University, Belfast, United Kingdom



Education, community development, other, postcolonial theory, poststructuralism


The first section of this paper is a discussion of the paradoxes contained in definitions of the word 'community' and deliberately foregrounds and makes problematic conflicting meanings before arguing for a third definition and practice of community. This third definition and practice celebrates and even transcends contradictions within an active learning model of education in the community, aimed at tackling inequality and prejudice. The second section offers an autocritical narrative account of an education in the community project that illustrates how such a practice of community making can be achieved within an educational framework in which pupil is teacher and teacher is pupil and in which an imaginative, creative approach is deployed to construct a community making practice. The paper draws on understandings from community development, inclusive and creative education, emancipatory action research, postcolonial and post-structuralist theory.


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How to Cite

Maginess, T. (2011). Paradoxes unbounded: Practising community making. European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults, 2(2), 209–225.