Making realism work, from second wave feminism to extinction rebellion: an interview with Caroline New

Journal of Critical Realism 23 (1):81-120 (2023)
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Abstract

Caroline New is an energetic activist who has interpolated critical realist ideas into the front-line of political activism. In this wide-ranging interview, she begins by reflecting on her life and how she became a realist and her account is illustrated with personal anecdotes recalling memories of well-known philosophers and activists from the time. She discusses how her position set her apart from other feminists and she examines the interacting threads of longstanding debates on the political left, as well as longstanding debates within critical realist circles, such as the relative importance of quantitative methods in social research and the scope for agency as a source of intentional change. Finally she brings some of her ideas to bear on contemporary issues. This engaging interview notably provides some of the social context in which critical realism developed, while also pointing towards its future potential.

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