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Colección: La Educación
Número: (119) III
Año: 1994


We propose, first, that the structures of multiple education and knowledge systems can be recreated in one or more maps, images of a social cartography where the space of the social map reflects the effect of social change on real space; and, second, that comparative education researchers consider representing that space through the creation of maps.

Our rationale for this proposal is that open mapping promises to provide the comparative educator with a better understanding of the social milieu, and to give all persons the opportunity to enter a dialogue to show where they believe they are in society. The map reveals both acknowledged and perceived social inclusions while leaving space for further inclusions of social groups and ideas. Whether the map is considered a metaphorical curiosity or accepted as a more literal representation, it offers comparative researchers an opportunity to situate the world of ideas in a postmodern panorama, disallowing the promotion of an orthodoxy.

In this essay we have demonstrated how, through the employment of a critical “social cartography”—the creation of maps addressing questions of location in the social milieu—social research may move one step further as it struggles to distance itself from the positivistic restraints of modernism. Postmodern social cartography suggests not a synthesis, but the further opening of dialogue among diverse social players, including those individuals and cultural clusters who want their “mininarratives” included in the social discourse. We propose that social cartography has the potential to be a useful multivocal discourse style for demonstrating the attributes and capacities, as well as the development and perceptions of people and cultures operating within the social milieu. It offers educators a new and effective method for counter hegemonic boundary work by visually demonstrating the sensitivity of postmodern influences in opening social dialogue.