28 SES 10 A, Uneven Space-Times of Education: Disentangling historical sociologies of concepts, methods and practices
This paper considers the socio-political making of “uneven space-times of education. I approach transforming space-times of education as social processes of re-b/ordering knowledge and ways of knowing in times of change and draw on a historical case study from the dawn of bourgeois society when, for a moment, knowledge building no longer appeared as an elitist project. Producing, gathering, sharing and distributing the new ideas and imaginations of the world became a popular practice, before changing power structures and (re)established social hierarchies again regulated who could access the domes of knowledge and engage in the exciting business of increasing and distributing ideas and inventions. These socio-historical transformations included a re-negotiation of gender relations by publishing and pushing narratives about how to be male or female in an appropriate (bourgeois) way. These 18th century practices meant that writing letters contributed to making space-times of education through self-organised practices of informal learning, which produced the knowledge needed in those historical circumstances marked by uncertainty and change. But historical comparison recognises the interwoven complexity of the social, the historical and the spatial” (Soja, 1996). Training ways of knowing occurs alongside the building of knowledge, and shows how the b/ordering of knowledge is entangled with the b/ordering of society. The 18th century solidified a space-time of education that incubated enlightenment storylines, which continue to contextualise our understanding of the world so far, by constructing meanings and streamlining habits as common sense. What can be learnt from this history? If space-times of education are made according to social needs and through means that make sense socially, how are frames of orientation and modes of belonging revised today, corresponding to “liquid modernity” (Bauman, 2000), “horizons of uncertainty” (Luhmann), limits of growth and globalised interdependencies?
Bauman, Z. (2000). Liquid Modernity. Cambridge: Polity. Luhmann, N. (1997). Die Gesellschaft der Gesellschaft. Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp. Soja, E. W. (1996). Thirdspace: Journeys to Los Angeles and other real-and-imagined places. Malden, Mass: Blackwell.
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