Updates in Group Developing Transnational Literacies
This study focuses on the social formation of game virtual property through analyzing two of its major stakeholders in China: online gamers and game corporations. Based on analysis of the opinions, stakes, and demands of the Chinese gamers, I argue that they are developing an incipient ‘gamer rights’ awareness composed of gamers’ entitlements to virtual property ownership as well as to virtual property rights protection by the state and game publishers. Based on analysis of the stakes and strategic actions of Chinese game publishers, I show that these corporations promulgate a self-serving version of gamer rights protection campaigns and pass the social responsibility of virtual property governance to the state. This study’s findings provide empirical evidence to support theoretical and legal recognition of virtual property, government involvement in virtual-world governance, and the ‘right to play’ critique.
Games are woven into webs of cultural meaning, social connection, politics, and economic change. This article builds on previous work in cultural, new media, and game studies to introduce a new approach to productive play, the promise of play. This approach analyzes games as sites of cultural production in times of increased transnational mediation and speaks to the formation of identity across places. The authors ground their explorations in findings from ethnographic research on gaming in urban China. The spread of Internet access and increasing popularity of digital entertainment in China has been used as an indicator of social change and economic progress shaped by global flows. It has also been described as being limited by local forces such as tight information control. As such, gaming technologies in China are ideal to ask broader questions about digital media as sites of production at the intersection of local contingencies and transnational developments.
Under the administration of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the Brazilian state has advocated the use of Free/Livre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) throughout the public sector. How did FLOSS adoption gain traction as a developmental strategy across a large federal bureaucracy that had embraced information technology policies supporting export-oriented growth and market liberalization during the 1990s? In a historical case study, I argue that the FLOSS agenda emerged as a result of the actions of a network of insurgent experts working within elite political, technical, and educational institutions. I trace the history of this mobilization and show how a dedicated network of experts brought about conditions for institutional transformation that contradicted prevailing neoliberal policy proscriptions. The Brazilian FLOSS insurgency offers insights into the means by which a group of elites endeavored to reframe debates about technology-driven economic growth around questions of state-led access to source code and knowledge.
This paper identifies several key issues that have emerged through the debate over English as a Lingua Franca (ELF), and suggests a practice-based perspective—which treats language not as a fixed system but as an emergent product of speakers’ practices—as a guide for reconsidering some fundamental assumptions of the ELF research project. In particular, this paper suggests viewing ELF not as a variety, but as an activity type, where the goal of interaction involves the need to communicate in a situation where the participants do not share the same first language. It claims that such a reconceptualization can help us explore the accommodative practices of ELF speakers with greater sensitivity to issues of power, enrich our understanding of intelligibility and how it is mediated by language ideologies, and develop a pedagogy that emphasizes greater cross-cultural awareness and sensitivity.
In the new European higher education space, Universities in Europe are exhorted to cultivate and develop multilingualism. The European Commission’s 2004–2006 action plan for promoting language learning and diversity speaks of the need to build an environment which is favourable to languages. Yet reality indicates that it is English which reigns supreme and has become the main foreign language used as means of instruction at European universities. Internationalisation has played a key role in this process, becoming one of the main drivers of the linguistic hegemony exerted by English. In this paper we examine the opinions of teaching staff involved in English-medium instruction, from pedagogical ecology-of-language and personal viewpoints. Data were gathered using group discussion. The study was conducted at a multilingual Spanish university where majority (Spanish), minority (Basque) and foreign (English) languages coexist, resulting in some unavoidable linguistic strains. The implications for English-medium instruction are discussed at the end of this paper.
The use of English as an international language (EIL) and its implications for teaching have attracted much scholarly attention. However, much of the discussion has remained at an abstract level and not provided pedagogical ideas that are theoretically sound, informed by research, and at the same time specific enough to be useful in the classroom. This poses a great challenge for teachers: while they receive a strong message that their current practice may be inadequate in preparing learners for using English in international encounters, they are not presented with suggestions of where to start implementing changes. The goal of this paper is to build upon the existing literature on teaching English for international communication with greater emphasis on pedagogical decisions and practices in the classroom. Using the conceptualization of EIL as a function of English as an international common language rather than a linguistic variety used uniformly in all international contexts, we explore key questions in TEIL and suggest specific ways to introduce an EIL perspective to existing English language classrooms.
“This article analyses the discursive unities which make possible the current transformation of teacher training and our understanding of teaching as a profession, while focusing particularly on European educational policy and the situation in Slovakia. Using Foucault’s archaeological method, we reconstruct the discursive link points between the circumscribed, and at first glance, different approaches to teacher training, where on the one hand, we have a humanistic and constructivist prism, and on the other, we find the pragmatic, economizing pressure of neoliberal educational policy. Discursive reconstruction, however, shows that these approaches are not contradictory, rather that a humanistic and constructivist discourse, by shaping a specific kind of subjectivity (the teachers), supports the neoliberal reform of teacher training and constitutes the reasoning upon which it is based. The analysis is conducted by drawing together various components: the logic of the higher education reforms, the changes to the epistemological basis of teacher training, the regulation of professional development through professional standards, the psychological content and general permeation of entrepreneurial culture into education right through to the performance culture of the ‘portfolios’, which are the typical attributes of neoliberal governmentality, and not only in teacher training.”
Cloud computing has started to transform economic activities in the global South. Many businesses are taking advantage of the pay-as-you-go model of the technology, and its scalability and flexibility features, and government agencies in the South have been investing in cloud-related mega-projects. Cloud-based mobile applications are becoming increasingly popular and the pervasiveness of cellphones means that the cloud may transform the way these devices are used. However, findings and conclusions drawn from surveys, studies and experiences of companies on the potential and impact of cloud computing in the developing world are inconsistent. This article reviews cloud diffusion in developing economies and examines some firms in the cloud’s supply side in these economies to present a framework for evaluating the attractiveness of this technology in the context of evolving needs, capabilities and competitive positions. It examines how various determinants related to the development and structure of related industries, externality mechanisms and institutional legitimacy affect cloud-related performances and impacts.
This paper examines the ways in which credentials from a range of education providers are used to (re)produce transnational financial elites in London’s international financial district. Extant research has examined the long-standing relationship between educational background and entry into these financial labour markets. Far less attention has been paid to how the relationship between education and financial elites has changed more recently as financial labour markets have become increasingly transnational in nature and education and learning increasingly extend beyond higher education into the workplace. In response, this paper combines work on transnational elite labour markets with work from the sociology of education on the intersection between work and workplace education in order to understand the different strategies used by individuals (from both the UK and overseas) to acquire a range of credentials following their first degree in an effort to advance their careers within contemporary financial services labour markets.
Digital mediation is central to how children and youth grow up in the global North and in much of the global South today. In taking account of this situation, of late researchers have tended to draw on a sociology of the child in conjunction with an examination of how digitization is changing the experience of childhood itself. This article also begins by tracking key social, economic and cultural changes in young people’s lives. We then link these changes to the immersive media life many children around the world are living today, and note the worries this raises among parents, educators and others. To conclude, we identify the paradox of participation that is shaping children’s digital culture and forcing researchers and others to reconsider the relationships between consumerism and civic life.
It is now well recognized that public pedagogies help to inform the ways in which people engage and transform both culture and politics. But the roles of globalization and of emotions are under-researched in the literature on such pedagogies. Through a discussion of the notion of emotional geography and the emotional dimensions of globalization we argue that globalized emotions are central to such pedagogies. In so-doing we introduce our notion of “emoscapes”. This helps us to consider the diverse and intersecting scales and flows of the emotional geographies of globalization. Through the case of the global financial crisis, we show how emotions enter and influence mediascapes, ideoscapes and financescapes. Using cameo studies of YouTube videos (film, anime, videos) and performance protest, we identify a range of emotional registers involved. We point to the mobilization of the greed creed and consumer Darwinism, both of which involve selfish desires, distraction and political inaction. But we also show how the public pedagogies associated with the global financial crisis can involve other emotions that challenge such emotional geographies mobilizing mood as a form of resistant political intervention.