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Emerging Fields in Educational Ethnography

  Educational theory and research usually observes pedagogical phenomena as taking place in a unity of time, space, person and action, and conceives of these elements in an essentialist way. Ethnography’s recent success within the educational scientific community resulted not least from this kind of naturalism, as one of the virtues of ethnographic research is the physical co-presence of researchers in the observation of educational realities.  
  This taken-for-granted assumption of a unity of time, space, person and action and an essentialist understanding of these elements is now being more and more questioned and replaced by more dynamic conceptions of the locality and modality of pedagogical phenomena. This development is not least a consequence of ethnographic research, which investigates, for example, political structures and societal discourses no longer merely as external conditions of action in educational fields, but as integral parts of its practical accomplishment. Moreover, this practice is no longer thought of and described as merely locally situated, but also as enfolding in hybrid, scattered, interwoven, transnational figurations which therefore transcend locality. Thereby, also the sensitivity for its internal diversity is heightened: Concerning ethnic, gender, linguistic, generational and other differences as well as their interwovenness on the one hand, and the multiformaty of processes of education, learning, Bildung, help and care on the other hand. Not least, it is increasingly questioned whether only humans are acting in educational fields or whether also objects, spaces, bodies and artefacts should be taken into account as active participants in the practical accomplishment of educational realities. To put it briefly: Basic assumptions about where the places and times of learning, education, and social work are to be found, about who their actors and addressees are and how education and learning are carried out, have turned from preconditions into the very tasks of research.                                        
  With its title ”MultiPluriTrans. Emerging Fields in Educational Ethnography“ , the Luxembourgian conference picks up tendencies in ethnographic research which deal with the translocality and plurality of educational realities, with the multilingual, multicultural and multimodal conditions of pedagogical practice, and with the complex relations between local practice and national/global transformations and policies.  
  The conference aims at exploring the innovations, potentials and ambiguities of these research strategies and asks for their specific empirical and theoretical contributions to educational science.