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Abstract and Keywords 'Politics, Culture and Socialization' vol. 2, nr. 3


'Pluralistic political intolerance: A comparison of Eastern and Western Europe'
Bojan Todosijevic (Serbia)

The article examines the influence of sociological and socio-psychological variables onto the selection of groups towards which political intolerance is directed. By comparing findings for Eastern and Western Europe, different political histories and levels of political actualization of social divisions are taken into account. The main hypothesis argues, contrary to Sullivan et al. (1979, 1985), that socio-psychological variables are crucial factors affecting the target group selection. The research is based on World Values Survey data, which include the so called ‘least liked’ measure of political tolerance. The findings suggest that differently ideologically colored targets of political intolerance have specific associations with socio-psychological variables. Low authoritarianism and post-materialist value orientation direct intolerance towards groups such as neo-Nazis, in both regions of Europe. Pro-democratic, liberal and right-wing orientation is associated with intolerance towards Stalinists, but only in Eastern Europe.

Keywords: political tolerance – social status – authoritarianism – Europe


'Political rationality: Young Danish and Norwegian immigrant citizens and their political reasoning'
Trond Solhaug & Niels Nřrgaard Kristensen (Norway/Denmark)

This article aims to uncover the dynamics of political reasoning among young immigrants. How do they people reason about the larger social and political world around them and what rationalities are in play? A dynamic approach is used to analyze cognitive functioning. A model of political reasoning combining identities, emotions, and information is suggested and examined empirically. In a qualitative study the reflectivity of the students and their willingness to act as rational and responsible citizens is evaluated. Based on a selection of young Danish and Norwegian immigrant students, the dynamics between the elements of the model are explored. In the analysis, some identities play a decisive role, while emotions seem fairly often to be the trigger and the mechanism of political action.

Keywords: political rationality – immigrants – political reasoning – young people – students


'Civic socialization in post-transition condition'
Domonkos Sik (Hungary)

The essay is aimed at answering the question: what are the special difficulties of civic socialization in post-socialist democracies? In order to elaborate an answer, first a general theory of civic socialization has to be reconstructed, which can be used as a reference point – for this purpose Habermas’ model of a communicative-intentional socialization is evoked. Second, those special difficulties have to be identified, which reveal the limits of such a general theory – at this point Bourdieu’s theory of pre-intentional habitus is used. Third, a way has to be introduced capable of overcoming these difficulties – here Arendt’s ideas on the original impression of freedom prove to be helpful. As a conclusion I argue that the Habermasian model of democratic socialization is incapable of providing an analytical framework for the special problems of post-transition condition, as it can not grasp the key problem caused by the anti-democratic habitus emerged during the state socialism. A pre-intentional change requires stronger impressions than mere arguments; such is the elementary impression of freedom experienced during “action in public sphere”.

Keywords: Habermas - Bourdieu - Arendt - civic socialization - post-socialism


'Teachers’ Dealings with Controversial Issues – a typology from the 2009 IEA/ICCS study'
Carsten Ljunggren & Ingrid Unemar Öst (Sweden)

By presenting and analyzing empirical data from the ICCS-study (IEA/ICCS 2009), the overall aim of this article is to discuss controversial issue education and how teachers in Sweden deal with controversies in school settings. The case of Sweden is contextualized by a comparison with findings from some other countries concerning curricula and teachers’ attitudes to controversies. The emphasis in the article, and the specific aim, is to develop and discuss a typology concerning teachers’ dealings with controversial issues in the classroom and its potential consequences for the position of the ‘teacher subject’ which also is supposed to have an decisive impact on students’ opportunities to discuss political and social issues, and to reconsider their arguments and gain new insights about self and society. We find four main discourses in teachers’ dealings with controversial issues which we name ‘the debate leader’, ‘the tutor’, ‘the mediator’ and ‘the rejector’ – discourses that are discussed in relation to epistemological and political definitions of controversial issue education.

Keywords: citizenship education - controversial issue education - discourse theory - IEA-study ICCS 2009 - teacher subject


'Can Schools Educate for a Democratic Society? The Struggle for a Participative Pupil Role in Norwegian Schools'
Lars Monsen (Norway)

Starting with a historical review of the struggle for participative democracy in Norwegian schools, this article take evidence from history, from recent reforms and evaluation of these to answer the question. The struggle began in the 1920s and is still evident in more recent national curricula from 1994, 1997 and 2006. The author’s evaluation research has documented how difficult it can be to follow up reform ambitions to include pupils in a democratic classroom where pupils can give their voice in decisionmaking and evaluation. In the recent years it has become more demanding to fulfil these ambitions with an influx of pupils from third world countries where democratic traditions are even less developed. In conclusion: It is still hope for schools as an arena for democratic learning. New ideas for child rearing will put pressure on schools to educate for a knowledge-based society.

Keywords: participatory democracy – school reforms – Norway – evaluation of reforms – pupils’ voice – multi-ethnic classroom



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