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Teaching political science through memory work

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Abstract:

In spite of the democratic concern often expressed in public policies on education, learning situations are still governed by inequality and social exclusion. Often, unequal relations characterize what counts as proper academic knowledge as well as who is presumed capable of embodying and transmitting this knowledge. This means that university education in many ways is exclusionary, not least in terms of gender, race/ethnicity and sexuality.

In this paper we present the results of a research project where we have tried to elaborate more socially inclusive ways of teaching and learning political science by making use of a specific method of analyzing social relations – memory work. As a method memory work involves writing and interpreting stories of personal experience, written in relation to a specific theme or concept. When the experiences of students [with different characteristics and backgrounds] are taken as a starting point a more inclusive and egalitarian learning situation is established.

By focusing on experience and everyday life, we claim that memory work can challenge conventional and gendered understandings of how academic knowledge is produced and what is deemed part of the political sphere. We discuss how memory work can open up for different forms of knowledge and for new ways of learning. At the same time we put forth the problems encountered and the resistance provoked among the students we worked with. By analyzing the reactions and processes that were initiated by the memory work, we discuss both how gender and nationalism are reproduced and incorporated into understandings of what counts as proper political science, and point out under what circumstances these conventional notions can be challenged.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

memori (94), work (82), stori (71), student (57), nation (54), polit (53), gender (48), way (46), scienc (43), interpret (36), also (35), discuss (30), relat (29), differ (27), group (25), one (23), social (23), et (22), flag (22), text (22), al (22),

Author's Keywords:

teaching, gender, memory work, ethnicity, nationality, feminism
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Name: APSA Teaching and Learning Conference
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MLA Citation:

Wendt, Maria. and Åse, Cecilia. "Teaching political science through memory work" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference, San Jose Marriott, San Jose, California, Feb 22, 2008 <Not Available>. 2013-12-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p245596_index.html>

APA Citation:

Wendt, M. and Åse, C. , 2008-02-22 "Teaching political science through memory work" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference, San Jose Marriott, San Jose, California Online <PDF>. 2013-12-15 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p245596_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: In spite of the democratic concern often expressed in public policies on education, learning situations are still governed by inequality and social exclusion. Often, unequal relations characterize what counts as proper academic knowledge as well as who is presumed capable of embodying and transmitting this knowledge. This means that university education in many ways is exclusionary, not least in terms of gender, race/ethnicity and sexuality.

In this paper we present the results of a research project where we have tried to elaborate more socially inclusive ways of teaching and learning political science by making use of a specific method of analyzing social relations – memory work. As a method memory work involves writing and interpreting stories of personal experience, written in relation to a specific theme or concept. When the experiences of students [with different characteristics and backgrounds] are taken as a starting point a more inclusive and egalitarian learning situation is established.

By focusing on experience and everyday life, we claim that memory work can challenge conventional and gendered understandings of how academic knowledge is produced and what is deemed part of the political sphere. We discuss how memory work can open up for different forms of knowledge and for new ways of learning. At the same time we put forth the problems encountered and the resistance provoked among the students we worked with. By analyzing the reactions and processes that were initiated by the memory work, we discuss both how gender and nationalism are reproduced and incorporated into understandings of what counts as proper political science, and point out under what circumstances these conventional notions can be challenged.

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