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ERIC Number: EJ889568
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-1523-1615
Response to Noah Sobe's "Rethinking "Cosmopolitanism" as an Analytic for the Comparative Study of Globalization and Education"
Wisler, Andria
Current Issues in Comparative Education, v12 n2 p45-49 Spr 2010
As a springboard into her response inspired by Noah Sobe's article, this author offers two possibilities for what cosmopolitanisms can tell about comparative and international education research. First, from her perspective, rooted in justice and peace studies, she is intrigued by several authors' assessments of cosmopolitanism as a cognitive or reason-based framework. In other words, the cosmopolitan person will use reason to be autonomous, have self-responsibility, procure agency, plan life rationally, while respecting diversity and difference. She is not convinced that it is predominantly reason that drives the embodiment and enactment of a cosmopolitan mode of living. Second, and more directly in response to Sobe's article, the author is confident that cosmopolitanisms will continue to affect traditional methodological models of comparative education and other educational research that uphold a static version of the field site, such as a school or nation-state, as the primary unit of analysis, while discounting the movement of knowledge, identities, and people over campus and country borders. The author contends that Sobe's article offers a "who's who" of significant voices in the dialogue between cosmopolitanism and comparative education. His intention for citing such a cache of theorists and researchers is explicit--"to locate the present project in scholarly circles." More importantly, however, Sobe works to "loosen cosmopolitanism" from the possessive grip of Enlightenment philosophers and the underlying inference that cosmopolitanism is solely a Kantian project, when it can rather be understood and employed as a historical category across temporal and spatial perimeters. He then discusses the use of "vernacular cosmopolitanisms" for investigating two instances of the role of schooling in the production of the cosmopolitan child--the first in present day United States and the second in pre-World War II Yugoslavia. Sobe marks a visionary signpost at the beginning of a path for considering alternatives to traditional paradigms of area studies in light of globalization's bestowments of "multi-layered geographies" that circumvent standard notions of territorial cartography. Heeding the arrows forward, this author is inspired to balance Sobe's meta-relational view of cosmopolitanisms and comparative education with a more nuanced unpacking of two aspects of his article. Specifically, she extrapolates on how the work of Arjun Appadurai, whom Sobe quotes briefly, can concretely influence the creation of a new "world-generating optic" in a comparative education research project. The author does this in light of her research in post-Yugoslav countries, introducing readers to another "vernacular cosmopolitanism" from this region of the Balkans.
Teachers College, Columbia University. International and Transcultural Studies, P.O. Box 211, 525 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States; Yugoslavia