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A theory consists of a belief or beliefs that allow researchers to examine and analyze the world around them. This entry examines critical theory and how critical ideas can be applied to research. As Peter Barry suggests, we can use theory rather than theory's using us. The complexity of any theory, let alone the critical theories examined in this entry, cannot be underestimated, but theory can be used to produce better research methodology and also to test research data. Theory is important because it allows us to question our beliefs, meanings, and understandings of the world around us. In all subject areas, critical theory provides a multidimensional and wide-ranging critique of research problems that researchers attempt to address. The importance of how we read, apply, ...

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