Legacies of Modernity and Colonialism in Schooling
4 Globalization, Transnationality, and Citizen-Consumers
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4Globalization, Transnationality, and Citizen-Consumers
Classrooms are increasingly occupied by students who move within and between communities and nations. “Even when young people are not themselves traveling across national borders, or leaving their own bedrooms, they can find themselves, implicated within transnational networks” (Maira & Soep, 2005, p. xix). The movement of people across borders, the globalization of marketplaces and media, and the multi-faceted, shifting identities of students challenge educational theories that rely on a bounded conception of culture through which people’s traditions and identities are tied to the regions and nations where they reside. Cultures in schools have long been reified as homogenous and what Dirlik calls “spatially mappable entities” (1999, p. 17).
The increasing number of students who are embedded in social networks of two or more nations challenges fixed and homogeneous notions of race, geographic space, and social identity. There is a need, writes globalization theorist Arjun Appadurai, to reconceptualize the “landscape of group identity” to reflect current conditions in which “groups are no longer tightly territorialized, spatially bounded, historically unselfconscious, or culturally homogenous” (1996, p. 191). A relatively new discipline, transnational studies, confronts the reductive manner of describing communities as pure, stable, separable entities. Transnational theories challenge the “linear temporality of historiographic periodization,” “the inscription of neatly separate community narratives,” and other features of modernist discourse that underlie many educational practices and school curricula (Shohat & Stam, 2003, p. 2).
The idea of transnationality emerged in the work...
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