In the forests of the night: an inquiry into the relevance of social dreaming for action research

Balogh, R. (2015) In the forests of the night: an inquiry into the relevance of social dreaming for action research. Educational Action Research, 23(3), pp. 312-330. (doi: 10.1080/09650792.2015.1009142)

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This paper explores the potential for using dream material and social dreaming in action research. Access to emotional dimensions of experience is increasingly recognised as an issue for action researchers, raising questions about how to enable such inquiry and how material from the imaginative sphere may be brought into socially constituted spaces to generate new insights. Dreams provide entry into the world of image as opposed to concept. But until recently, meanings derived from dream analysis have been restricted to the private, individual sphere. Social dreaming, on the other hand, is a new technique where meanings from dreams are created by and for a socially constituted group. Drawing on a wide range of oneirological literature, studies in social dreaming and dream-sharing, and the author’s own dreams, two working assumptions are articulated to guide inquiry into how dreaming may be used in action research, one relating to the nature of dream experience and the other about practices for bringing dream material into social spaces. These assumptions guided two group-based inquiries to explore the significance of dreaming for action-based research, at meetings of action researchers and practice developers. Material from these inquiries contained a similar dream image, a house in a forest, and the image’s significance to participants and to the author is explored. Participants found that relating their dreams to their work as action researchers and practice developers was fruitful. Questions and insights were uncovered for the practice of action research, and for the practice of social dreaming for social benefit through action research.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Balogh, Dr Ruth
Authors: Balogh, R.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Journal Name:Educational Action Research
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1747-5074

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