Local time, global space and glocal identities in transnational education

Doherty, Catherine A. (2008) Local time, global space and glocal identities in transnational education. In Dunn, Lee & Wallace, Michelle (Eds.) Teaching in Transnational Higher Education : Enhancing Learning for Offshore International Students. Taylor & Francis, New York, pp. 160-170.

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Transnational online education is a set of practices that offer new resources, discourses and pathways for individuals to pursue their aspirations. It promises educational networks imagined beyond national boundaries and local protocols. It is this transnational imaginary that is reshaping how people interact in 'globally defined fields of possibility' (Appadurai 1990: 5). 'Borderless' online pedagogy and the imagined lifeworlds it opens up, are nurtured through strategic partnerships between institutions to mutual benefit to source and sell educational products. This chapter delves beyond the visionary promise into lived though virtual realities, to probe the delicate cultural politics that is enacted online, and to demonstrate how the 'local' can still assert itself for better and for worse in the transnational imaginary. It offers an ethnographic account of selected interactions within a semester long unit in a Masters of Business Administration (MBA). The unit was offered online by an Australian university to a student cohort including both 'domestic' enrolments and students enrolled through a Malaysian college.

This reconstruction focuses on episodes in which 'hermeneutic problems' (Bauman 1990) erupted around a delay for the students in Malaysia in receiving their marked assignments. Their explicit sense of exclusion is contrasted with an 'Australian' student's grievances about her 'local' provider going 'global' and being too inclusive. Using interview data and online postings, these events are unpacked to reveal the different 'range of foci' (Featherstone 1995: 10) in the identities expressed, with competing senses of ownership of the global/local opportunities and their respective disciplinary regimes. Such contradictory troubles demonstrate that students felt both insufficiently and overly differentiated by transnational pedagogy and that the 'selves' they were able to construct in this setting’s relations rubbed uncomfortably against their aspirational selves.

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ID Code: 14520
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: For more information about this book please refer to the publisher's website (see link) or contact the author.
Additional URLs:
Keywords: online education, higher education, globalisation, assessment, HERN
ISBN: 9780415420549
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Sociology of Education (160809)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 Taylor & Francis
Deposited On: 26 Aug 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2012 14:05

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