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Educating beyond cultural diversity: redrawing the boundaries of a democratic plurality
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2011 (English)In: Studies in Philosophy and Education, ISSN 0039-3746, E-ISSN 1573-191X, Vol. 30, no 2, 101-111 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this paper I draw some distinctions between the terms cultural diversity and plurality and argue that a radical conception of plurality is needed in order both to re-imagine the boundaries of democratic education and to address more fully the political aspects of conflict that plurality gives rise to. This paper begins with a brief exploration of the usages of the term diversity in European documents that promote intercultural education as a democratic vehicle for overcoming social conflict between different cultural groups. In contradistinction to these usages, this paper calls for a more robust conception of plurality, one that does not simply denote membership in different cultural groupings but is rooted in the human condition and based on a conception of uniqueness. Following the work of Hannah Arendt and feminist philosopher Adriana Cavarero, I explore how the appearance of unique beings in specific contexts can be understood as an eminently political act and I contend that such a view leads to a better educational understanding of conflict and contestation. The paper sketches the contours of democratic plurality along this line of thought and discusses how these new boundaries have implications for education's relation to democracy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2011. Vol. 30, no 2, 101-111 p.
Keyword [en]
Hannah Arendt, Adriana Cavarero, Education, Diversity, Democracy, Politics, Europe, Uniqueness
National Category
Pedagogy Didactics
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-69425DOI: 10.1007/s11217-010-9215-6ISI: 000288507500002OAI: diva2:478281

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Available from: 2012-01-16 Created: 2012-01-12 Last updated: 2013-02-22Bibliographically approved

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Todd, Sharon
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