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             Karl Maton
   University of Sydney
•   How can we build powerful and
    influential ideas?

1. How to build cumulative knowledge
    –   compares the modes of theorising
        exemplified by Bernstein and Bourdieu

2. How to win friends and influence people
    –   analyse nature of intellectual fields such as
        Education and sociology

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Everybody is somebody’s bore
• ‘many of his readers profess to find his
  ideas difficult, obscure and elusive’
  (Atkinson, 1985: 6)
• ‘extraordinarily difficult for novices to get
  to grips with’ (Power, 2006: 492)
• ‘the renowned complexity, if not obscurity
  of his conceptual framework’ (Nash,
  2004: 609)
• ‘obscure, complex and intimidatory’
  (Jenkins, 1992: 10)

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              Current model
• hierarchical and horizontal knowledge
   – ‘verticality’: progress by
       • vertical integration and subsumption (hierarchical);
       • or horizontal addition
   – ‘grammaticality’: ability to generate
     unambiguous empirical referents

• internal (L1) and external (L2) languages
  of description
   – stronger / weaker

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1. what is the basis of verticality (or
   stronger L1)?

2. what is the basis of grammaticality
   (or stronger L2)?

3. how do they work together to
   enable or constrain cumulative
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            LCT (Semantics)
• Semantic gravity
   – degree meaning is dependent on context
       • e.g. stronger SG = more context-dependent

• Semantic density
   – degree meaning is condensed within symbols
       • e.g. stronger SD = symbol condenses more meaning
         (more is ‘packed up’ into symbol)

• Each stronger / weaker (+/-)
   – two continua of strengths (SG+/-, SD+/-)
   – processes of strengthening and weakening

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Internal       Developing theorisation                  Semantic Semantic
relations:                                               gravity  density
             6. pedagogic device

             5. pedagogic codes:      ____E____
                                      +Cie / +Fie

             4. classification & framing (+C, +F)

             3. visible & invisible pedagogies

             2. criteria, hierarchy, sequencing rules

             1. empirical features of progressive

                    Direction of arrows is from weaker to stronger.

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  Internal relations: Bourdieu
• logic of practice: field, capital, habitus
      [(habitus)(capital)] + field = practice

• horizontal relations:
   – field, capital, habitus are inter-defined
   – ‘practice’ is these three brought together

• limited vertical development
   – does not explore principles underlying
     habituses or fields or capitals

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           Internal relations
Bernstein’s mode of theorising (SG-, SD+)
• higher-order concepts:
   – abstract underlying principles of lower-order
   – condense meanings of lower-order concepts

Bourdieu’s internal language (SG+, SD-)
• relates concepts horizontally
• extends less far vertically

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 External relations: Bernstein
• key external relation is to empirical data
  (stronger epistemic relation, ER+)

• need for principles of translation to enable
  dialogue between theory and data:
  ‘external language of description’
• anyone can use theory or scrutinise
  analysis (weaker social relation, SR-)

=> knowledge code grammar (ER+, SR-)

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• ‘L2 is equally an imaginative act as L1 but
  is rarely constructed to warrant that
  adjective. It is essentially what research is
  about. The rest can be done in an
  armchair. Armchairs do not change one,
  only accommodate. Research is the means
  of change.’
  (Bernstein, personal communication)

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Semantic        Coding of             Form taken by student responses                      Example quote from student answers
 gravity        responses

           Abstraction          Presents a general principle or procedure that     Legal and intellectual property issues are a major
                                moves beyond the cases to address wider or         consideration when developing a product.
 weaker                         future practice.

           Generalisation       Presents a general observation or draws a          Precious time would be wasted and deadlines not met
                                generalising conclusion about issues and events    when members did not have a full concept of the
                                in the case.                                       project.

           Judgement            Goes beyond re-presenting or interpreting          While each metaphor provides a realistic learning
                                information to offer a value judgement or claim.   environment ..., I felt that the Nardoo metaphor assists
                                                                                   with navigation, while the StageStruck metaphor was a
                                                                                   barrier to effective navigation.

           Interpretation       Seeks to explain a statement by interpreting       While not alluded to in the interviews, this may have
                                information from the case or adding new            caused problems for the team, as there would have
                                information. May include use of other literature   been a new software to work with, and transferral of
                                or personal experience.                            information from Hypercard to MediaPlant.

           Summarising          Descriptive response that summarises or            This involved creating the overall structure and content
           description          synthesises information presented in the case,     of the project, with design briefs and statements being
                                including re-wording and re-structuring of a       forwarded to the client, with the final design statement
                                number of events into one statement. Does not      being signed off by the client, giving a stable starting
                                present new information from beyond case.          position for the project.

           Reproductive         Reproduces information directly from the case      The NSW Department of Land and Water
stronger   description          with no elaboration (i.e. quotations).             Conservation (DLWC) approached the Interactive
                                                                                   Multimedia Learning Laboratory (IMMLL) at the
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                                                                                   University of Wollongong to develop an educational
                                                                                   multimedia package.
   External relations: Bourdieu
• ‘There is no doubt a theory in my work, or,
  better, a set of thinking tools visible
  through the results they yield, but it not
  built as such...It is a temporary construct
  which takes shape for and by empirical
  work’ (in Wacquant 1989: 50)

• ‘The important thing is to be able to
  objectify one’s relation to the object’
  (1993b: 53)

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• no external language of description
   – weaker epistemic relation
• sociological gaze:
    ‘You have some general principles of method
    that are in a sense inscribed in the scientific
    habitus. The sociologist’s métier is exactly
    that - a theory of the sociological construction
    of the object, converted into a habitus. When
    you possess this métier, you master in a
    practical state everything that is contained in
    the fundamental concepts: habitus, field, and
    so on.’ (Bourdieu et al 1991: 253)
   – stronger social relation

  => knower code grammar (ER-, SR+)
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     How to build knowledge
• vertical relations between concepts of
   – lower context-dependence and
   – higher condensation
   – (SG+, SD-)

• relations between theory and data of
   – higher context-dependence and
   – lower condensation
   – (SG-, SD+)

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         Modes of theorising
• Bernstein’s (cumulative modality)
   – internal language: SG-, SD+
   – external language: SG+, SD-

• Bourdieu’s (segmental modality)
   – internal language: SG+, SD-
   – external gaze: SG+, SD-

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      Stimuli to development
• internal language: excavation
   – every answer raises a new question
       • e.g. (+C, +F) => pedagogic device
       • e.g. (ER+/-, SR+/-) => epistemic device

• external language: expansion
   – new objects raise questions of theory
       • e.g. study of constructivist learning
         environments => ‘semantic gravity’

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  ‘being involved in an obscure and
  complex version of poker in a pitch-
  dark room, with blank cards, for
  infinite stakes, with a Dealer who
  won’t tell you the rules, and who
  smiles all the time’
  (Pratchett, T. & Gaiman, N. Good Omens
  1990, London, Corgi)

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   Current model and beyond
• basis of insight and identity:
   – hierarchical KS: explanatory power
   – horizontal KS: less clear; ‘weak’
• model less explicit where knowledge
  structure less explicit

Moving forward
• fields as ‘knowledge-knower structures’
• ‘knower structure’ key to humanities and
  social sciences

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1. what underlies a field’s structure of

2. how are ideas and actors positioned
   within this structure?

3. why are segmental theories more
   popular than cumulative ones?

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• fields with hierarchical KS
   – epistemological cosmology

• fields with horizontal KS
   – axiological cosmology
   – moral ordering of ideas, practices and

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relations          Constellation building
              ‘During the 1990s, we have witnessed a
              convergence of learning theories never before
              encountered. These contemporary learning theories
              are based on substantively different ontologies and
              epistemologies than were traditional objectivist
              foundations for instructional design… The past
              decade, we believe, has witnessed the most
              substantive and revolutionary changes in learning
              theory in history ... We have entered a new age in
              learning theory. Never … have there been so many
              theoretical foundations that share so many
              assumptions and common foundations.’
              (Jonassen & Land, 2000, p. iii, v-vi)

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relations         ‘Learning’ constellation
            ‘Student-centred learning environments’ include:
            • problem-based learning
            • project-based learning
            • inquiry-oriented pedagogies such as open-ended learning
            • cognitive apprenticeships
            • constructivist learning environments
            • microworlds
            • goal-based scenarios
            • anchored instruction
            • social-mediated communication
            • authentic learning, etc
               (Jonassen & Land, 2000)

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            Teacher-centred pole                              Student-centred pole
Internal    transmission / acquisition                   interpretation, construction
            mastery, performance                                    meaning making
relations   external reality                                          internal reality
            dualism, absolutism                     cultural relativism, perspectival
            abstract, symbolic                contextualized, authentic, experiential
            individually interpreted             socially negotiated, co-constructed
            mind-centred                      community-based, culturally mediated
            directed                                                        intentional
            reductionist                                   complex, self-organizing
            individual                                                  collaborative
            idealist, rational                                              pragmatist
            encoding, retention, retrieval                articulation and reflection
            internal, mental                                                      social
            receptive, reproductive                                      constructive
            symbolic reasoning                                      situated learning
            psychology                        anthropology, sociology, ethnography
            laboratory                                                           in situ
            theoretical                                                       everyday
            central processing architecture                  distributed architecture
            objective, modelable                            experiential, interpretive
            symbol processor                                          symbol builder
            disembodied                                                   experiential
            conceptual, memorial                                             perceptual
            atomistic, decomposable                                              gestalt
            independent                                                       emergent
            possessed                                                       distributed
            objective, stable, fixed                subjective, contextualized, fluid
            w ell-structured                                            ill -structured
            decontextualized                                embedded in experience     24
            compliant                                                  self-regulated
relations   Teacher-centred                    Student-centred
            abstract, symbolic               contextualized, authentic,
            symbolic reasoning                        situated learning
            theoretical                                        everyday
            disembodied                                     experiential
            conceptual, memorial                             perceptual
            decontextualized                   embedded in experience
            idealist, rational                               pragmatist
            objective, stable, fixed   subjective, contextualized, fluid
            laboratory                                            in situ
            objective, modelable              experiential, interpretive

            Weaker semantic gravity    Stronger semantic gravity

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relations   Teacher-centred                          Student-centred
            receptive, reproductive                               constructive
            transmission / acquisition            interpretation, construction
            directed                                                intentional
            compliant                                           self-regulated
            reductionist                            complex, self-organizing
            encoding, retention, retrieval         articulation and reflection
            objective, stable, fixed         subjective, contextualized, fluid
            symbol processor                                   symbol builder
            well-structured                                      ill-structured
            mastery, performance                             meaning making

            Structure                                              Agency

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relations   Teacher-centred                       Student-centred
            individually interpreted              socially negotiated, co-
            individual                                      collaborative
            mind-centred                      community-based, culturally
            internal, mental                                         social
            atomistic, decomposable                                 gestalt
            possessed                                          distributed
            independent                                          emergent
            central processing architecture       distributed architecture

            Low sociality                              High sociality

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relations   Teacher-centred                Student-centred
            Abstract (SG-)                   Concrete (SG+)

            Structure                                    Agency

            Individuals                                    Social

            Realism (positivism)            Constructionism

            external reality                         internal reality
            dualism, absolutism    cultural relativism, perspectival
            psychology                    anthropology, sociology,

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relations           Axiological charging
            Key tenets of literature on student-centred learning:
            1. ‘the reliance on active rather than passive learning,
            2. an emphasis on deep learning and understanding,
            3. increased responsibility and accountability on the
               part of the student,
            4. an increased sense of autonomy in the learner
            5. an interdependence between teacher and learner,
            6. mutual respect within the learner teacher
            7. and a reflexive approach to the teaching and learning
               process on the part of both teacher and learner.’
               Lea et al. (2003: 322)

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  ‘We believe ... that there is a need to
  humanise the online experience with
  greater compassion, empathy and
  (Herrington, et al. 2003: 69)

• design research as ‘socially
  responsible research’ (Reeves, et al.
• post-structuralist approaches as
  ‘critical theory’
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    Condensation & abstraction
dominant order          dominated Other

socially conservative   socially progressive

disempowering           empowering

instructivism           constructivism

teacher-centred         student-centred

teaching                learning

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  ‘For what is it that we - we that is who are
  intellectuals of the dominant class ... - fear
  most in the reception of our thought? It is
  precisely that we might be perceived as
  numbered among those who accept the
  dominant order of our society’
  (Nash 2001: 69)

  ‘difficult to talk about the dominated in an
  accurate and realistic way without seeming
  either to crush them or to exalt them’
  (Bourdieu 2000: 233-234)
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            Moral concerns
• obsession with language in terms of
  moral and political connotations
   – misreading of ‘restricted code’
   – +/-, stronger/weaker = judgement
• terms as emoticons
• terms as ‘bonding icons’ (Martin &
  Stenglin 2007)
• limited life-span of moral charging

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       Axiological cosmology
• Internal relations
   – constellations created through

• External relations
   – moral charging of constellations
     through symbolization creating a
     ‘structure of feeling’
   – mediated relations to characteristics of

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               Earlier slide
• Bernstein’s (cumulative modality)
   – internal language: SG-, SD+
   – external language: SG+, SD-

• Bourdieu’s (segmental modality)
   – internal language: SG+, SD-
   – external gaze: SG+, SD-

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        Interpretive latitude
  ‘paradoxically the conceptual looseness of
  habitus also constitutes a potential
  strength. It makes possible adaptation
  rather than the more constricting
  straightforward adoption of the concept
  within empirical work’
  (Reay 1995: 357; emphases added).

  ‘one cannot grasp the most profound logic
  of the social world unless one becomes
  immersed in the specificity of an empirical
  reality.’ (Bourdieu, 1993, p. 271)
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Faustian pact or false dichotomy

Moral vice                   Moral virtue
Structure               Agency, creativity

Abstract, symbolic   Concrete, experiential

Knowledge                        Knowers

Cumulative mode          Segmental mode

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• how to build knowledge
   – cumulative modality of theorising

• how to influence people
   – ‘The truth is no guarantee of belief’
   – axiological issues crucial to knower
     code fields

• Need to see both knowledge and
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        Points of engagement
• epistemic relation to empirical world
   – faith in reason

• social relation to knowers as objects
   – showing how means do not reach ends

• social relation to knowers as subjects
   – being appealing and open

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  In memory of my Grandad,
        John Wilson

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