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EVENT: Anthropology & Sociology Seminar Series 2014: Associate Professor Martin Forsey - Ethnography at a Distance? Globally Mobile Parents and School Choice in a Textual Community

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Today's date is Saturday, September 19, 2020
Anthropology & Sociology Seminar Series 2014: Associate Professor Martin Forsey - Ethnography at a Distance? Globally Mobile Parents and School Choice in a Textual Community Other events...
We have not met the people we have studied; they are part of what Eichhorn (2001) described as a "textual community", gathered around the threads of online conversations associated with a website servicing the needs of English-language speakers in Germany. The thread in question started in 2008 with a query from someone about to move to Berlin, seeking advice about the best international school in which to enrol her three children. The ensuing conversations are revealing, not only because of the schools canvassed and the manner in which they are discussed, but also because of the schools that are not charted into the discussion. The relatively contained “spaces of interaction” marked by the “international schools in Berlin” thread allow us to shift the scope from the local to the national and the global spheres and back again. These globally mobile parents, who are part of the increasingly significant skilled migrant diaspora express various concerns about the educational needs of their children, from language acquisition, to keeping up with educational requirements for university in their home country, to desires that their children be exposed to a broad range of cultural influences. This paper raises questions about qualitative research methodologies in online settings, particularly in relation to claims about an emerging commitment to 'nonlocal ethnography' (see Feldman 2012; Eichhorn 2001) and the surmising one can make about research subjects one never meets, but who remain comprehensible because of the broader cultural context in which they are situated. It also questions elite commitment to a cosmopolitan ethos in the face of global anxieties among the global middle classes as they pursue various forms of concerted cultivation and expressive individuation for their child, amidst a 'fear of falling' from their not so-lofty and precarious position in social hierarchies (Erenreich 1989; Newman 2012; Brownstein 2013).
Speaker(s) Associate Professor Martin Forsey, Anthropology UWA
Location Social Sciences G 25
Contact Loretta Baldassar <[email protected]>
Start Fri, 12 Sep 2014 11:00
End Fri, 12 Sep 2014 12:00
Submitted by Emily Buckland <[email protected]>
Last Updated Tue, 09 Sep 2014 12:36
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