About Me

Version 2

Ph.D., University of Michigan (2011), Educational Studies (Individualized Program in Anthropology and Education)

M.Sc. (with Merit), London School of Economics and Political Science, Social Anthropology

A.B. (Honors) Xavier University, Classics, Philosophy

Université de Paris IV-Sorbonne, Section Universitaire, Cours de Civilisation Française, Xavier University Fredin Scholar

I use semiotic and linguistic anthropological approaches to research contexts of learning and development in comparative, international perspective. My research and publications have focused on communication (particularly in English), Self-development and belonging in the lives of class-mobile youth in a rural South African township. I currently serve as a Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, and Adjunct Professor at Temple University College of Education.

Hobby-wise, I enjoy music mixing and vinyl record collecting, and often bring this passion and experience into my scholarly work on youth and culture. I have also recently taken up an interest in early U.S. and family history, joining the Philadelphia Continental Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.

My wife Emily and I are the parents of Grant and Isabel, and we live in the Garrett Hill neighborhood of Bryn Mawr, PA, just outside of Philadelphia.

You can contact me here: andrewbabson AT gmail.com


One Comment

  1. Hi Andrew, I was trying to get in touch to see if you would like to serve as a referee for a manuscript submitted to Language and Education. However, I can’t find your UPenn or Temple email online. If you can take this up, please let me know and include your email. A copy of the article abstract is below.

    A key factor in providing quality education is the language of instruction (M-LoI). This creates a challenging situation for education policymakers in post-colonial multilingual countries such as South Africa. Language in education policies must valorise indigenous languages and redress their exclusion in past education systems while ensuring access to any economic opportunities afforded by colonial languages. Public attitudes have a bearing on individuals’ interactions with language policy as well as the education system as a whole. This article examines attitudes towards the main M-LoI in education. Data from the South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS) for the period 2003-2016 was used. The study hypothesised that preferences for M-LoI will be associated with support for other forms of societal racial transformation in South Africa. A majority of the general population favoured English as the M-LoI in education and M-LoI preferences were not related to the degree of support for other forms of racial transformation. The limitations of the SASAS dataset and current method are then described and possibilities for new research presented. The article concludes by discussing how post-colonial education policies and implementation can nurture multilingualism and promote the valorising of indigenous languages.


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