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Taking place: the social construction of place, time and space, and the (re)making of distances in distance education
journal contributionposted on 1989-01-01, 00:00 authored by Terry EvansTerry Evans
This paper endeavours to link the notions of distance and place to distance education, using social scientific theories of distance. A selection of the work of geographers, historians and sociologists concerning theories of distance and place are related critically to the administration, management and practices of distance education. Distance and place are presented as a concept which individuals construct for themselves in relation to the broader social contexts of their lives. The relationships between students and their distance education institutions represent encounters between a variety of distance relations which are rarely considered by distance educationists. It is argued that distance education institutions play a part in ‘choreographing’ the existences of their students. In effect, a series of movements in time-space are choreographed in order for people to be ‘distance students’. Such a choreography is founded on unstated assumptions about place and distance and is constructed through the bureaucracies and processes of distance education, particularly through the use of non-dialogic forms of communications. © 1989, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved.