‘Emigrants of the labouring classes’: Capital, labour and learning in Wellington, 1840-45
Middleton, S. (2008). 'Emigrants of the labouring classes': Capital, labour and learning in Wellington, 1840-45. Paper presented at Australian Association for Research in Education 2008 International Education Conference, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia; 1-4 December, 2008.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/3254
Questions of space and place are of increasing interest to educational researchers. A recent synopsis of “educational geography” identifies Henri Lefebvre as a particularly “overarching presence in the educational appropriation of spatial theories with many researchers referring to his work on perceived, conceived and lived space” (Gulson and Symes, 2007, p.101). Physical, or perceived, space is that of everyday embodied “spatial practices” in everyday life: “social practice, the body, the use of the hands, the practical basis of the perception of the outside world” (Lefebvre, 1974, p.38). Abstract, or conceived, space, a product of capitalism, “includes the ‘world’ of commodities, its ‘logical’ and its worldwide strategies; as well as the power of money and that of the political state” (Lefebvre, 1974, p.53). “Representations of space” are the charts, texts or maps of these rationally determined enclosures, including those of “cartographers, urban planners or property speculators” (Shields, 2004, p. 210). Enacting technologies of domination, these introduce “a new form into a pre-existing space – generally a rectilinear or rectangular form such as a meshwork or chequerwork” (Lefebvre, 1974, p.139). Lived, or social, space includes the realm of the imagination that “has been kept alive and acceptable by the arts and literature. This ‘third space’ not only transcends but also has the power to refigure the balance of popular ‘perceived space’ and official ‘conceived space’” (Shields, 2004, p. 210). The artistic and other expressions of “lived space” are referred to as “representational spaces.” In capitalist societies, Lefbvre argued, the abstract appropriations of “conceived space”, and textual representations of this space, gain ascendency.
This paper has been presented at Australian Association for Research in Education 2008 International Education Conference, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia; 1-4 December, 2008. Used with permission.
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