In this paper, I discuss my personal experience of the issues that can arise when adopting critical realism in academic contexts dominated by irrealist (positivist, phenomenological and post-structuralist) methodological approaches. I draw inspiration for my analysis from the concept of Gramscian hegemony and the concept of ‘authenticity’. These concepts are related because hegemonic processes prevent individuals from freely expressing themselves. In my case, academic hegemony has resulted in social pressure to sacrifice my authentic critical realist self in order to achieve academic success. I also discuss groupthink dynamics, suggesting that they are a mechanism by which hegemony – and denial of individual authenticity – can be achieved. This paper is meant to be a theoretical and reflexive discussion, which could be the starting point for empirical studies investigating the situation of a critical realist in a hegemonic academic context.
- critical realism
Field of science