Assembling spaces: the question of ‘place’ in further education

Clarke, J.; Harrison, R.; Reeve, F. and Edwards, R. (2002). Assembling spaces: the question of ‘place’ in further education. Discourse, 23(3) pp. 285–297.



This article draws upon an empirical research project investigating the notion of flexibility in the context of UK further education, and explores some of the ways in which further education colleges are constituted through spatial modes of representation as particular kinds of places. Our analysis of this data explores a possible association of flexibility with a historical move from modernist 'spaces of enclosure' to the 'limitless postponements' of postmodern 'societies of control' (Deleuze, Postscript on the Society of Control, 1992). We also outline the dynamic conception of a spatiality that is 'constantly in the process of being made' in the intersection of social relations and social processes (Massey, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 24(3) 1999, pp. 261- 276). These ideas provide reference points for a discussion of place, and suggest a paradox when flexibility is treated as liberation from the constraints of time and place, while further education colleges are represented as desirable places in which to be firmly located on the inside.

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