LAN cafes: cafes, places of gathering or sites of informal teaching and learning?
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Despite the interest of sociologists and educational researchers in Internet cafs as sites for new cultural and social formations and informal learning, thus far little attention has been paid to the function of caf owners, managers and other staff in the mediation and co-construction of those spaces. Drawing from interviews with managers of commercial Internet cafs in Australia specialising in LAN (Local Area Network) gaming, this article seeks to examine their role and their attitudes more closely; in particular with regard to school-aged users of their facilities. We contend that LAN cafs are liminal spaces situated at the margins of Australian culture and located at the junctions between home, school and the street, online and offline spaces, work and play. The roles of LAN caf managers are similarly ambiguous: in many ways they can be regarded as informal teachers facilitating the process of informal learning.
Education, Communication & Information
Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified