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"Deconstructing Hierarchisation and Depoliticisation: Exploring Discursive ‘Micro’ Processes in Global Education"

A talk by Mária Hodorovská and  Kristína Rankovová,  PhD candidates at the Institute of European Studies and International Relations at the Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences (Comenius University in Bratislava). 

Date and Time:

12 December 2022

5:00m-6:30pm (CET/UCT+1 Time Zome)

Location: Online (Zoom)

Language: English 

This is a free event, but registration is required:

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Talk description:


In the era of globalisation, global education (GE) has been gaining a growing interest and importance on the international scene. As an approach to education that makes sense of the interconnected and interdependent realities of the world, GE serves the need to instil democratic norms and values in learners, and thus, “to contribute to a more inclusive, just and peaceful world” (UNESCO, 2015). Yet, ideas of modernity, development and progress, which are the products of Eurocentric discourses, create a danger of GE that reproduces and maintains structural inequalities. In this talk, we will raise the question of how social actors and their actions are represented in the Slovak textbooks on GE. By applying Critical Discourse Analysis, our study shows how particular socio-semantic language choices reinforce hierarchisation – by representing the global North as the “Self” and active saviour of the passive and homogenous “Other” of the global South – and depoliticization – by de-agentialisation and backgrounding of the global North’s complicities. Our “micro” analysis contributes to existing “macro” studies of GE where postcolonial premises have been applied and exposed how dominant Eurocentric assumptions are maintained as unquestionable truths. We hold that the “micro” analysis of particular linguistic choices is equally relevant because it uncovers ways in which hierarchisation of social actors and depoliticisation of responsibility are maintained through discourse. Our study thus contributes to the critical discussion of how dominant discourses are (re)produced in the field of GE and why the analysis of linguistic choices matters when speaking about global topics.

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