Culture, Learning, and Participation
Edited By Anne Burke and Jackie Marsh
12. An argument for assemblage theory: Integrated spaces, mobility, and polycentricity
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An Argument for Assemblage Theory
Integrated Spaces, Mobility, and Polycentricity
A child born since 1994 into one of the nations of the global north has been born into a culture with virtually no collective memory of life outside the global connectivity that has accompanied the rapid spread of digital technologies and the internet. With this in mind, in this chapter I am interested in giving consideration to the textual, social, and technological contexts in which young people travel in contemporary society. To advance this consideration, the chapter will draw from analyses of two contexts: an object ethnography of LEGO blocks (see also Carrington & Dowdall, forthcoming) and a newly released virtual world. Responding to the implications of these two analyses, the chapter will argue that a theory of assemblage (Deleuze, 1991; DeLanda, 2006a) can make a significant contribution of our understanding of the processes and practices with which young children are developing mastery of text and technology, alongside an understanding of how the world around them is constructed.
Context 1: Virtual World
By 2010, registrations in virtual worlds had passed the 1 billion mark. Of these billion registrants, 46% identified as 10–15 years of age. A small mathematical calculation ← 200 | 201 → suggests that children and early adolescents account for almost 500 million—and growing—virtual world registrations. Holding the sheer volume of numbers alongside the...
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