14 SES 13 A, Modernist Conceptions of Time and Urban Education in a Postmodern World
This paper draws on a three-year ethnographic/ecological study in two countries. A postmodern lens is used to explore the role commercial spaces play in early learning and negotiated parental practice. We examine shopping malls are places where parents find information and advice about caring for and educating children. We extend an ecological survey method developed by Neuman and Celano (2001) to record these affordances. The research design for our study incorporates ethnographic and geosemiotic methods (Scollon & Scollon, 2003) that allow us to document and analyze semiotic materials and social practices i and consider what they reveal about diverse and dominant perspectives related to parenting. The situated nature of the project is emphasised. The concept of geosemiotics, defined by Scollon and Scollon (2003), is the study of social meaning related to the “material placement of signs and discourses and of our actions in the material world” (p. 2). Our international longitudinal research project involves three interconnected foci: • Environmental focus: Artefact collection, mapping, visual documentation and observation in three contrastive sites • Organisational focus: Interviews with information workers, network tracing and artefact collection • Family focus: Ethnographic participant observation, interviews and artefact collection.
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