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Accepted Paper:

Situational analysis and discursive enactment of futures in education  
Anders Buch (VIA University College) ylva lindberg (Jönköping University)

Short abstract:

In this paper, we discuss how Situational Analysis is helpful in understanding worldmaking as a future(s)-oriented methodology. This is done by theoretically exploring John Dewey’s conception of a ‘situation’ and how positional mapping helps expose futures in educational practices.

Long abstract:

STS scholarship struggles to transcend traditional objectivist social science methodologies and articulate reflective approaches for engaged research. Situational Analysis (SA), with its inspiration from actor-network theory, discourse analysis, feminism, and pragmatism, has proposed an elaborate ‘theory-method-page’ that allows researchers to reflectively explore and map situations relationally; investigate the social worlds and arenas of actors; and traverse the discursive positions taken on issues in the situation.

In this paper, we discuss how SA, more specifically positional mapping, helps understand worldmaking in the domain of higher education. Through a range of studies, we have explored future(s)-oriented methodologies (speculative, anticipatory, and fictional) in postdigital education (Buch, Lindberg & Cerratto-Pargman 2024; Lindberg & Johansson 2022; Cerratto-Pargman, Lindberg & Buch 2023), and we suggest that positional mapping techniques help explore discursive enactments of futures.

Drawing from John Dewey’s processual and relational ontology, a ‘situation’ is a contextual whole that is dynamically (re)constructed through transactions in the present – connecting past experiences and the future potentials in the present situation. Positional mapping of the discursive enactments of present situations is thus helpful for critically reflecting on the ‘sociotechnical imaginaries’ (Jasanoff & Kim 2015) that are shaping practices, and for exploring the power struggles among actors.

Our methodological reflections on the role of SA in exploring discursive enactments in education are discussed with reference to the empirical material presented in Buch, Ramsay & Løje (2022) on how engineering education is enacted discursively.

Traditional Open Panel P167
World-making and pragmatism: research practices in dialogue
  Session 1 Tuesday 16 July, 2024, -