This paper is a brief account and argument for using Built Environment Education Workshops (BEEWs) as a data collection method. The research is based on women of African descent and the connections among their social practices, the spaces that generate them and are generated by them, and the language they use to mediate and/or negotiate those spaces. Feminist popular education models and other relevant feminist perspectives are used to design the BEEWs. The paper notes that the research process and product are "real" and "imagined" effects of chaos theory. Chaos theory has been and will continue to be used as both metaphor and process to capture the dynamic amorphous layered reality of the city's postmodern, geohistoric condition, the "place" of women of African descent within it, the role that building industry professionals play in defining the spaces in which these women live, the empowering possibilities of utilizing popular education to enable critical understanding of spatial politics, the varied critical theoretical frameworks used to illuminate and define the phenomenon, the foregrounding of a peculiar standpoint within this research agenda, the methods used to develop this standpoint and to gather research data, and lastly, the actual way that the final dissertation research results will be presented. The paper uses June Jordan's poetry to move the reader through the academic discourse. This use of both creative writing and academic discourse is an example of the layering effects of chaos theory, in which similar themes can be read in both texts. (Contains 14 notes and 48 references. Appendixes include a BEEW summary and motivational images.) (Author/BT)
Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 24-28, 2000).