istanbul escortAntalya Escortizmir escort ankara escort


How things fit.  (photo credit: M. Heins 2010)

While the photo is titled “How things fit,” this post will also discuss how things don’t fit neatly; how friction can be productive; and how spaces of controversy can provoke learning. In the Education Policy article below, I discuss how I’ve used actor-network theory  as an organizing methodological guide.

Koyama.2011. Journal of Education Policy

In the following excerpt from a manuscript I am writing with Radhika Gorur (first author), the usefulness of ANT thinking is further discussed.

Our analysis draws broadly upon the conceptual resources of material semiotics, more particularly actor-network theory (ANT). Focusing on processes and practices, ANT is particularly useful in the study of controversies (Latour, 2005; Venturini, 2010), characterised by the struggle of various groups to establish the authority and legitimacy of ideas and practices. Deployed in policy study an ANT analysis might trace how policy phenomena emerge as contingent effects of socio-material practices. The emphasis is on how certain policy ideas come to cohere as more-or-less durable assemblages or networks, and how they are mobilised, challenged, defended and strengthened. Here we focus on the current struggles to promote like-school comparisons as authoritative, technical and apolitical; the publication of these comparisons as an appropriate register of accountability; the expertise of statisticians as valued; and the practice of such comparisons as an appropriate and morally compelling policy process; and we trace the attempts to challenge and resist these moves.

As Law (2007, p. 2) reminds us, ANT has been taken up by different researchers in different ways.  Rather than a single, coherent or strong ‘theory’, Law suggests that ANT is ‘a sensibility to the messy practices of relationality and materiality of the world,’ bringing with it ‘a wariness of the large-scale claims common in social theory.’ So rather than accepting the logic of the taken-for-granted as an inherent quality of phenomena, ANT researchers attempt to understand how some phenomena come to be accepted as logical and commonsensical.

When undertaking policy studies ANT researchers trace ‘the specific materializing processes through which policymaking actually works to animate educational knowledge, identities, and practices’ (Fenwick & Edwards, 2011, p. 710). Policy texts, particular devices such as like-school comparisons, websites, money, expertise – these are not only vehicles which inscribe and translate human agency into durable and distributed effects, but could also be actors in their own right. For instance, like-school calculations serve to cohere and promote certain understandings whilst discounting others.  They serve to organise thinking and sort information. They translate such entities as students, teachers, schools, learning, teaching, curricula, cultural capital and motivation – in short, all the complexity of schooling – into a limited set of discrete actors with observable and measurable attributes to effect various calculations. This translation into numbers makes it possible for diverse and particular aspects of schooling to be shuffled together into seemingly standardised, universal sequences of logical causes and effects. Following Callon and Muniesa (2005), we understand ‘materiality’, not so much as concerned with physicality, but as pertaining to the investment of observable and measurable attributes to abstract phenomena, such as ‘quality’ or ‘equity’, to make them coherent and calculable.

Enriching our analysis further are some key concepts elaborated by Callon, Lascoumes, & Barthe (2001), who illustrate how the confidence of technical answers to technicised policy dilemmas may come to be challenged by diverse and lay groups and reassembled as socio-technical controversies. In our study, the translation of school quality into the like-school comparative ‘league tables’ depends on the work of a small group of experts in statistics and psychometrics. So complex and specialised is their expertise that the actual processes by which like-school comparisons are produced is a black box – we are required to accept the result, but the process itself is too technical for most of the actors to understand. Indeed, such calculations are not only inaccessible to non-experts in terms of comprehending them, but also in challenging them. But when these calculations are made public, the public become ‘informed’ and is able to debate and challenge policies. The confident technical accounts begin to unravel, creating productive ‘spaces of uncertainty’ (Callon, et al., 2001) where diverse groups bring new ideas and concerns into the policy arena, elaborate the problem and the range of considerations, and seek better solutions. The nature and extent of such challenges to the certainty and confidence of technicisation, and the way these challenges are managed, are an empirical matter, as we find at our two sites.

Although we describe the fortunes of a particular policy decision at two very different locations, our primary aim is not to compare one site with another to draw policy lessons. Rather, it is to illustrate a more general (and more modest) point – that technical accounts may be constructed and challenged in a variety of ways, and that the processes by which policies are promoted and challenged are emergent, contingent, and contextual. Doing so, we extend the conversation on what Grek and Ozga (2010), following earlier work by Grek, refer to as ‘informal networking’ forms, and its reliance on such policy technologies as benchmarks, indicators and the circulation of data’ (p. 938). Our work thus lies within what Whitty (2006) has termed ‘education research’ (rather than ‘educational research’)—research of education that is not ‘consciously geared towards improving policy and practice’ (p. 173) as so often sought and funded by governments.

If you’d like to know about how to use assemblage in studies of educational policy, see the work of Fenwick and Edwards and Gorur.


28 Responses to “Assemblage”

  1. Margarita G. Reyes says:

    As a bilingual education advocate, what do you think could bea message the Regents need to hear to give input to the revision ofPart 154? Thanks!

  2. I am really impressed with your writing skills
    as smartly as with the structure for your weblog.
    Is this a paid subject or did you customize it your self?
    Either way keep up the nice high quality writing, it’s
    uncommon to see a nice blog like this one nowadays..

  3. Howdy just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of
    the pictures aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why
    but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different
    browsers and both show the same outcome.

    My web-site :: new treatment vitiligo

  4. Everything is very open with a precise clarification of the challenges.
    It was definitely informative. Your website is useful.
    Thank you for sharing!

    Feel free to surf to my web-site; redunovin preisvergleich

  5. I am sure this article has touched all the internet users,
    its really really fastidious paragraph on building up new webpage.

    My webpage dui lawyers in sarasota

  6. Inspiring quest there. What happened after? Take care!

    Look into my web site; Katy Perry Concert Tour

  7. Vida says:

    It was hard to find your website in google search results.
    I found it on 20 spot, you have to build a lot
    of quality backlinks , it will help you to increase traffic.

    I know how to help you, just type in google – k2 seo tricks

  8. Meir Ezra says:

    Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed!
    Very helpful info particularly the last part :)
    I care for such information much. I was seeking this certain information for a very
    long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  9. Carin says:

    I read a lot of interesting articles here.

    Probably you spend a lot of time writing, i
    know how to save you a lot of work, there is an online tool that creates readable, SEO friendly articles
    in seconds, just type in google – laranitas free content source

  10. Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources
    back to your website? My blog site is in the
    very same area of interest as yours and my visitors would truly benefit
    from a lot of the information you provide here. Please let me know
    if this ok with you. Thanks!

  11. ?e vais terminer de jeter un coup d’oeil à ça ce soir

    St?p byy my blog post film de baise

  12. Hello! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok.
    I’m undoubtedly enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.

    My blog post http://Www.colomboadc.Com

  13. Hi! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone
    4! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog
    and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the outstanding work!

  14. Carlota says:

    •Speed up: In case you have designed a fast selection of providing the CASC test then you must get ready as early
    as achievable. I do this constantly with
    my mentoring individuals who’ve no examples. However, another most common grounds for failing will be the
    innovator delegates and after that will not offer suitable help for the supervisor being delegated to.

  15. meufs sexy says:

    Un profond merci au créate?r du site

    H?ve a look at my blog post; meufs sexy

  16. Un post vraiment plein ?ee bon sens

    Visit myy web blog: porno fetichiste

  17. baiseuse hot says:

    L’inté?ralité des p?sts sont visiblement instructifs

    my weeb bl?g … baiseuse hot

  18. jpk says:


  19. jpk says:

    Sure. Thank you.

  20. Whether you want a one-time cleansing to wear the rugs, or perhaps have to have a weekly service in greatly visited locations at home, getting a skilled is a great idea. Specialist carpet cleaning have the most recent instruments as well as most recent gear to ensure your current carpets and rugs find while clean up as you possibly can, keeping you satisfied plus your property hunting fresh and clean.

  21. The site is extremely calm and understated,
    number pulsating lamps or quite women to stimulate you
    to enjoy.

  22. Kristina says:

    70 These organizations differ from Cash Transfer/Remittance Corporations in that they commonly offer larger-worth services.

  23. Shandra says:

    I’ve read quite a lot of your site content at this point so that I thguoht I’d personally create a remark and simply go on and state that you post fantastic material right here. Saved to fav this fabulous website years ago and still have been here for a long time. Once more, many thanks for creating this all easily readable for the community.

  24. Hi, all the time i used to check website posts here early in the dawn, for the reason that i love to
    learn more and more.

  25. I believe this is one of the such a lot significant
    info for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But wanna remark on few general issues, The site taste is perfect, the articles is actually excellent
    : D. Good task, cheers

  26. Ein netter Lover kann ihr ziemlich alles haben, denn sie mag es…

  27. went says:

    roc skin care commercials

  28. says:

    Talk to your doctor about recommendations for weight loss and
    exercise tthat caan help decrease your blood strain safely.

    Also viisit my webpage:

Leave a Reply