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Discourse Formation in Comparative Education

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Jürgen Schriewer and Jürgen K. Schriewer

New theories and theory-based methodological approaches have found their way into Comparative Education – just as into Comparative Social Science more generally – in increasing number in the recent past. The essays of this volume express and critically discuss quite a range of these positions such as, inter alia, the theory of self-organizing social systems and the morphogenetic approach; the theory of long waves in economic development and world-systems analysis; historical sociology and the sociology of knowledge; as well as critical hermeneutics and post-modernist theorizing. With reference to such theories and approaches, the chapters – written by scholars from Europe, the USA and Australia – outline alternative research agendas for the comparative study of the social and educational fabric of the modern world. In so doing, they also expound frames of reference for re-considering the intellectual shaping, or Discourse Formation, of Comparative Education as a field of study.

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Preface to the Third Edition vii

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Preface vii PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION The imprint this volume has made since its first publication in 2000 has been remarkable. In addition to being extensively reviewed in the major comparative education journals,1 it has been used as a key textbook in a number of comparative education programs in universities around the world. Moreover, the wide international response to the volume is testified by several translations. A slightly modified Spanish edition came out even prior to the volume's second revised edition published in 2003.2 A Mandarin translation in traditional Chinese characters was published in Taiwan in 20053 while a distinct translation into modern Chinese based on the simplified Chinese characters in use in mainland China is in preparation for publication at the end of 2008 or the beginning of 2009.4 What explains this favorable response to the volume? One might maintain it is the theoretical substance of the essays which the volume brings together that accounts for the interest for the volume that continues to this day. This may hold true in a twofold respect. First, each of the essays included in the volume represents a major theoretical position, current, or research approach which has been developed for the field of comparative education or has emerged in close interaction with comparative social and educational inquiry in general. Second, nearly all of these positions and approaches in the volume have incessantly demonstrated their fruitfulness in generating comparative studies and engendering prolific publication. In this respect, the volume, while 1....

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