Networks in education: an analysis of selected discourses

Sofia Branco Sousa, Alexandra Oliveira Doroftei, Helena Costa Araújo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


'Network' is a fashionable and current term in every field of contemporary society and education is no exception. In this paper, the concept of network (and other associated concepts, such as partnership and collaboration) is reviewed. Such revision regards selected theoretical contributions and is explored in terms of the use of the concepts in legal documents and in the discourses of aldermen and educational officers from Portuguese municipalities, offering a critical and multi-layered perspective. The analysis reveals the various layers of the network concept, often appearing vague and diffuse. It is a floating signifier disputed by different discourses and embodied by different meanings. This, in turn, brings major research problems linked to the use of the concept of network in education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-331
Number of pages21
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Discourses
  • Education
  • Networks


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