Labouring in the knowledge fields: researching knowledge in globalising workspaces

Taylor & Francis
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Globalisation, Societies and Education, 2006, 4 (2), pp. 237 - 248
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While research on globalisation can hardly be said to have ignored the phenomenon of the global corporation or the globally distributed supply chain, the focus has overwhelmingly been on 'globalization from above'on corporate structures and on the movement of global capital in global 'knowledge economies'. My focus in this paper is on the challenge of researching what Appadurai calls 'globalization from below': on researching the knowledge-building activities of people working in their own particular corners of global networks as they create the knowledge, language and practices that join up (however transiently) global workspaces. My interest is in the development of an 'ethnography of circulations' which takes the role of language seriously in the global circulation of ideas. Workplace education is implicated in the development of new global language practices that promote the circulation of certain ideas and working knowledge, and the restriction of others, in local/global workplaces. A more developed approach to an ethnography of circulations would contribute to our understandings of the potential of workplace education to be transformative as well as its predilection for being reproductive.
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