Risk and Opportunities in Face-to Face Meetings. Empowering Students as Active Citizens in Neo Liberal Times
2010 (English)In: Active Citizenship in Neo Liberal Times, 2010Conference paper (Refereed)
Educating for active citizenship is a pressing issue for educational policymaking in the Nordic countries, not least in the current neoliberal climate defined by economic and social change and by calls from different quarters for increased pluralism. Growing demands from the European Union on its member states to provide for active citizens through education fuels this task. In this text, Swedish education policy will be taken as a case in point in order to highlight how this issue is being handled in this Nordic policy setting. It is argued that its citizen fostering agenda is marked out by a deepened neoliberal orientation as regards the depiction of citizenship. This deepening takes place in the face of a historical rupture in Swedish education policy on citizenship, and consists of a replacement of the historically established society-centred citizenship with a consumer-oriented one that centres on the individual and on ‘freedom of choice’ as vital hubs. It is further argued that this shift highlights two problematic notions involved in the prevalent, neo liberally oriented framing of active citizenship through education: it tends to gloss over collective and antagonistic dimensions of citizenship necessary for encountering today’s societal demands. By drawing on Chantal Mouffe’s (2005, 2009) conceptualisation of 'the political' the overall aim of this text is highlighted: to seek for feasible openings for an altered way of framing the concept of active citizenship, where education is not depicted in terms of choice, but in terms of voice.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-49944OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-49944DiVA: diva2:388384
38th Congress of Nordic Educational Research Association in Sweden at School of Teacher Education, Malmö University, Malmö, 11-13 March, 2010