Preface to the First Edition xiii
Preface xiii PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION Discourse Formation is a term originating from the history and sociology of the sciences and from findings generated by these disciplines. Discourse formation thus refers to insights into the constructedness of academic knowledge, as well as to models meant to conceptualize such insights.1 More specifically, this term emphasizes the fact that institutionalized fields of academic study, in general, and the social sciences including comparative education, in particular, are a historical as much as an intellectual enterprise. These fields, in varying forms and to varying degrees, bear the imprint of specific institutional settings, changing intellectual trends, and diverse socio-political conditions. It is social actors from different arenas – politicians as well as academics, ministry officials as well as leading intellectuals, and publicists as well as spokesmen of particular professions – who, through dialogue and lobbying, contribute to either bringing to the fore or to eclipsing particular paradigms, intellectual currents, or theoretically defined research programs. Thus, including a concept like discourse formation in the title of a volume dedicated to re-considering the intellectual shaping of and fruitful research agendas for comparative education, means adopting a distinctive intellectual vantage point. This vantage point allows theorists in the field to relativize orthodox methodologies and to historicize taken-for-granted concepts and models. It is a vantage point, furthermore, which brings 1. See, e.g., Discourses on Society: The Shaping of the Social Science Disciplines, ed. by Peter Wagner, Björn Wittrock & Richard Whitley. Sociology of the Sciences: A Yearbook, vol. XV (Dordrecht...
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