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Discourse Formation in Comparative Education


Edited By 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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IV Mapping Multiple Discourses


Discourse Formation in Comparative Education312 duction of space to the cultural politics of difference in new and imagina- tive ways.25 At about this time, Don Adams invited me to write an encyclopedia entry titled, "Comparative Education: Paradigms and Theories."26 I accepted, but with the proviso that the entry would in fact be post-paradigmatic, that is, it would use a perspectivist approach to "map" my view of in- creasingly complex conceptual relationships between the major dis- course communities that compose the field. I presented this study, view- ing comparison as a juxtaposition of difference, in July 1992, at the 8th World Congress of Comparative Education Societies at Charles Univer- sity in Prague with a title more to my liking, "Comparative Education Seen as an Intellectual Field: Mapping the Theoretical Landscape." The paper sought to demonstrate how Comparative Education "after objectiv- ity" can now make good sense "in perspective" by portraying a play of different theoretical perspectives within the art form of social cartogra- phy.27 (See Figure 22) This cartography avoids the rigidities of modernist social models and master narratives, as presented in the first section of this paper, and shifts the research focus to current efforts by individuals and cultural groups seeking to be more self-defining in their sociospatial relations and in how they are represented. In this regard, Liebman has argued persuasively that while social mapping is open to all texts, it is a 25. Edward Soja & B. Hooper, "The Spaces That Difference Makes: Some Notes on the Geographical...

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