Diversity and Citizenship Education: Global Perspectives

By James A. Banks | Go to book overview

2
HIGHER LEARNING
EDUCATIONAL AVAILABILITY AND FLEXIBLE
CITIZENSHIP IN GLOBAL SPACE
Aihwa Ong

THE CURRENT DEBATES about education and citizenship have focused on the tensions between multiculturalism and the nation in advanced liberal democracies. While debates on diversity and multiculturalism have dwelt with the role of education in preserving democratic ideals, there has been little or no attention to the role of higher learning in relation to diversity in the global marketplace. Thus, I will here consider a different set of questions pertaining to the transnationalization of higher learning. First of all, it seems important to stress that education is a technology— in the Weberian sense of appropriate means to an end for constituting subjects in particular institutions for shaping citizen-subjects. 1 In modern societies, education is an expression of technical power involved in the production of modern knowledges and the strategic training of knowledgeable subjects in relation to specific political interests.

In recent decades, a new kind of educational problem-space has emerged that is increasingly global in scope. World-class centers of higher learning are space-making technologies that cut across national borders, enrolling foreign subjects as producers of knowledge in a variety of fields. The spread of these strategic spaces intersects with the flexible strategies of overseas elite seeking to accumulate world-class degrees and certifications that will open the door to a successful career in the international

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