Researching the relationships in the Technologies of Self: Habitus and Capacities

Year: 2008

Author: Redman, Christine, Rodrigues, Susan

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In this ontological research into teaching engagement with a website as a teaching tool we have used the instrument of pronoun grammar analysis (Mühlhäusler & Harré, 1990) to focus more clearly on the production of persons and practices in concrete interactions than is apparent in the ‘community of practice’ research after Lave and Wegner (1991). This requires a focus on the practical discursive reasoning that people use to perform operations on themselves or on other things to transform their habits or character. The ongoing discursive process is not determinate; it is influenced by the history of interactions and the kinds of storylines that are afforded to grade four students and their teachers in interaction with real-time software images of the earth in space. People act out their perception of their position, in the local moral, which has been shaped by their interpretation of the histories of the site and which creates and contributes to their sense of ‘oughtness’. The institutional goals and beliefs are enacted interpretations of the local moral order while the basis for understanding people’s agency and intentionality can be found in social rhetoric, and in the practices and conversations of the institution. The ontological phenomenological reality of the lived world can be seen to be formed in these discursive practices and can be better understood by careful consideration of them.