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Living in a World of Dissonance: Toward an Agonistic Comopolitics for Education
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. (DICE)
2010 (English)In: Studies in Philosophy and Education, ISSN 0039-3746, E-ISSN 1573-191X, Vol. 29, no 2, 213-228 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

As a flashpoint for specific instances of conflict, Muslim sartorial practices have at times been seen as being antagonistic to “western” ideas of gender equality, secularity, and communicative practices. In light of this, I seek to highlight the ways in which such moments of antagonism actually might be understood on “cosmopolitical” terms, that is, through a framework informed by a critical and political approach to cosmopolitanism itself. Thus, through an “agonistic cosmopolitics” I here argue for a more robust political understanding of what a cosmopolitan orientation to cultural difference can offer education. The paper moves from a focus on harmony to agonism and from cosmopolitanism to the cosmopolitical, and within each I discuss the questions of democracy and universality, respectively. Drawing on, the work of Chantal Mouffe, Judith Butler and Bonnie Honig, I discuss the basis upon which our agonistic interactions can inform education in promoting better ways of living together. This requires, in my view, nothing less than a clear understanding of the very difficulties of pluralism and a questioning of some of the ways we often reflect on the political dimension of these difficulties. I offer some reflections on what an agonistic cosmopolitics has to offer the debates surrounding the wearing of various forms of Muslim dress in schools in the conclusion. My overall claim is that cosmopolitanism as a set of ideas that seek more peaceful forms of living together on a global scale is in need of a theoretical framework that faces directly the difficulties of living in a dissonant world.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 29, no 2, 213-228 p.
Keyword [en]
Cosmopolitanism, Agonism, Cosmopolitics, Pluralism, Conflict, Democracy, Universalism, Muslim
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-36702DOI: 10.1007/s11217-009-9171-1ISI: 000274223800009OAI: diva2:289959
Available from: 2010-01-25 Created: 2010-01-25 Last updated: 2011-11-23Bibliographically approved

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Todd, Sharon
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