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Creating cosmopolitan meaning through conversation
Örebro universitet.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5554-6041
2012 (English)Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this paper, I have tried to examine classroom conversations as a site for expressions of cosmopolitization. The concept allows for an understanding of cosmopolitanism as an ongoing and dynamic interaction between different societies at the same place and time. Thus, cosmopolitanism is not a goal or a distant ideal, but something societies and individuals must relate to; creating situations that they handle - of course - in different ways (Beck & Grande 2010). With the notion of ‘critical cosmopolitanism’, self-understanding and self-reflexivity are highlighted (Delanty 2006), and with the displacement from ‘translation’ to ‘transaction’ as the process for cosmopolitization, I want to emphasize the inter-subjective and transactional character of the reflexivity in a cosmopolitan perspective.

 

I take my starting point from a cosmopolitan view that we are inhabitants of the same world (albeit in very different ways) rather than being citizens of the world (c.f. Hansen 2011). To understand the process of people coordinating their lives across personal and cultural differences, communication and imagination become crucial notions. With reference to Appiah (2006), cosmopolitanism is possible because humans have a capacity to imagine other ways of life and to learn from one another, through listening to each others’ stories. Thus, the language of values is placed at the center of communication, and conversations on values are, in this case, conversations across different boundaries. What I have tried to do in this paper is to capture these moments of learning, by listening to conversations on values in local educational arenas. This implies some methodological considerations. First, I distinguish between ‘cosmopolitan orientation’ (Hansen 2011) and ‘cosmopolitan resistance’. Secondly, I use the term ‘critical cosmopolitanism’ as an expression of self-understanding and self-reflexivity in the space in between the global and local, and between the universal and particular.  For example, I interpret the tension between ‘the global’ and the local as encounters between ‘different societies’, between different particularities, in the one and same educational setting.  Thirdly, I use Dewey's concept of transaction, to emphasize the intersubjective condition of self-understanding and self-reflexivity, and I distinguish between efferent and aesthetic-reflective experiences, to be able to capture expressions of cosmopolitization in classroom conversations in terms of cosmopolitan encounters.

 

What I found was vivid conversations going on, not so much in general conversations on different values, but rather in 'snapshots'; a conversation that is interrupted by individual reflections and questions, the exchange of quick comments and debate, and then a continuation of the conversation in line with its original purpose. Or, put another way, the shift between efferent and aesthetic-reflective experiences which, in this examination, turned out to take the form of temporal shifts in terms of an ongoing efferent communication and its aesthetic-reflective interruptions. But even from these rapidly conducted ‘micro-conversations’ of reflections on values crossing borders, however unforeseeable and improvised they are, I suggest that these “ordinary” conversations in education contribute to reflections on cosmopolitan perspectives through their aesthetic-reflective potential. So, rather, the question is if the classrooms will remain a site for cross-border conversations in a time of increasing diversifying on the local level.

 

 

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012.
Keyword [en]
cosmopolitanism, classroom study, cosmopolitanization, efferent experience, aesthetic-reflective experience
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-36456OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-36456DiVA: diva2:739467
Conference
American Educational Reserach Association, AERA, Vancouver, Canada, 13-17 april, 2012
Available from: 2012-05-29 Created: 2014-08-21 Last updated: 2015-05-26Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
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  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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More styles
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