oru.sePublications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
The hidden work in international knowledge production - acknowledging the efforts of a managing editor in the 1980s
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8173-7474
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In his influential book A social history of knowledge Peter Burke writes: “Intellectuals are masters of some kinds of knowledge, but other fields of expertise or ‘know-how’ are cultivated by such groups as bureaucrats, artisans, peasants, midwives and popular healers.” (Burke 2000: 14). The history of knowledge cannot just be understood from the perspective of successful scholars and great thinkers. This of course also applies to the knowledge of comparative education. To understand the complex process of knowledge production it is vital to include further and especially peripheral perspectives (Haraway 1988: 583f) who might not be visible at first sight.

In Torsten Husén’s - one of the founding ‘fathers’ of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement(IEA) - archive regarding The Encyclopedia of International Education (IEE) we encountered the publisher’s managing editor Barbara Barrett. She is figuratively speaking a midwife - not at random typically a rather female role - in the history of comparative education. Barrett in many different ways helped giving birth to both IEE editions (1984, 1995) and thus contributed to the IEE’s knowledge production. Nevertheless, by not being part of the list of references, which are essential support of knowledge claims in academia (Latour 1987), she seems to be a forgotten female knowledge worker in the field of comparative education. Theoretically based on the ‘practice turn’ within the sociology of knowledge (Camic, Gross & Lamont 2011) this paper aims to give identity to knowledge workers like Barrett, who might be mentioned in a preface, but are rarely acknowledged further.

The archive offers 3852 pages of correspondence between the editors-in-chief, publisher’s staff like the managing editor, section editors and commissioned authors. Hereby it allows detailed insights in the social process of the IEE production. Not only by numbers - 447 pages of correspondence which are explicitly related to Barrett by the archive label - the fundamental role of the managing editor in the process becomes apparent but also through closer reading. By applying the Qualitative Content Analysis (Schreier 2012) it is possible to show a pattern of Barretts influence and give qualitative insights in the way she was administratively, socially and content-related involved in the knowledge production.

Thus, the study considers historical material with an ethnographic perspective.The origins of the powerful contemporary international research organizations, such as IEA, in education and their increasing influence in the shaping of national and transnational education governance lie in the construction of new research networks, associations and publications in post-war Europe (e.g. Hofstetter & Schneuwly, 2004). Approaches contributing to understanding the history of educational research since then emphasize for example the role of research institutes (and inter­national conferences or international networks in general (Lawn, 2008).Access to the unique archive of Professor Torsten Huséngives the opportunity to reconstruct circumstances and the production process of the IEE as an example of an publication in and cause for interational networks and associations in the second half of the twentieth century. The archive makes it possible toexplore knowledge production in retrospect. By analysing archive material, it is possible to recreate a kind of social science laboratory in retrospective which allows to trace networks between humans and non-humans, and their actions; here it is possible to retrace how they performed the IEE. Therefore, we can speak of ethnography being applied on historical texts (Nimmo 2011).

The study view IEE both as a network and an inscription and focus on Barretts role within it. IEE consists of several hundred individuals in different positions and practices in relation to each other, as well as of material conditions such as funding, typewriters, papers, letters, software, etc. This socio-material network materializes: it generates inscriptions such as headings and articles that follow particular standards. IEE as a network extends and expands across time, space and language – it travels through its members, who meet at conferences and symposia all over the world and correspond from a distance. Finally, the outcome, the encyclopedia itself, becomes part of new networks; it circulates around the world (Schreiwer and Martinez 2004), gathers allies, shapes thoughts and actions, gets quoted, and grows in strength – it even becomes a standard reference work. However, after some years, it becomes obsolete. 

The growth of a network of comparative education required actors and mediators that were able to translate between human and non-human entities from all over the world. Torsten Husén was such an actor, but so was Barbara Barrett, working in the shadows of the researchers. Partially she functioned as an intermediator enabling them to meet and correspond with each other and partially as a mediator, who negotiated, persuaded, forced and also translated between them. Without someone performing these functions in the network of the IEE, the end result would not have been the inscripted, materialized encyclopedia.

Bibliography

Burke, P. (2000):  A Social History of Knowledge: From Gutenberg to Diderot. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Camic, C., Gross, N. & Lamont, M. (eds.) (2011): Social knowledge in the making. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Haraway, D.(1988): Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective. Feminist Studies,vol.14 1988, No 3, p. 575-599.

Hofstetter, R & Schneuwly, B. (2004), Introduction: Educational Sciences in Dynamic and Hybrid Institutionalization, Paedagogica Historica 40(5/6): 569–589.

Husén, T. & Postlethwaite, T. N. (eds.) (1985): The International Encyclopedia of Education: Research and Studies. Oxford: Pergamon Press.

Latour, B. (1987): Science in action: how to follow scientists and engineers through society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Lawn, M. (2008) (ed), An Atlantic Crossing? The Work of the International Examination Inquiry, Its Researchers, Methods and Influence. Oxford: Symposium Books.

Nimmo, R. 2011. “Actor-Network Theory and Methodology: Social Research in a More-Than-Human World.” Methodological Innovations Online 6(3): 108-119.

Schreier, Margrit (2012): Qualitative content analysis in practice. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications.

 

 

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-71822OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-71822DiVA, id: diva2:1282371
Conference
63rd Annual Conference, Education for Sustainability (CIES 2019), San Francisco, USA, April 14-18, 2019
Note

Accepted to the CIES 2019 conference

Available from: 2019-01-24 Created: 2019-01-24 Last updated: 2019-01-25Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text in DiVA

Authority records BETA

Lundahl, ChristianPrimus, Franziska

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Lundahl, ChristianPrimus, Franziska
By organisation
School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
Pedagogy

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

urn-nbn

Altmetric score

urn-nbn
Total: 85 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf