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Educating for Democratic Consciousness

Counter-Hegemonic Possibilities

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Ali A. Abdi and Paul R. Carr

This book has received the AESA (American Educational Studies Association) Critics Choice Award 2013.
There is a widespread, but mainly untenable, assumption that education in Western societies (and elsewhere) intuitively and horizontally aids the democratic development of people. An argument could be made that in contemporary liberal democracies, education was never designed for the well-being of societies. Instead of the full inclusion of everyone in educational development, it becomes dominated by those with a vested interest in the role of the liberal state as a mediating agent that, ultimately, assures the supremacy of the capitalism and neoliberalism. This book extends beyond a theoretical analysis of democratic education, seeking to tap into the substantial experiences, perspectives and research of a wide range of leading scholars from diverse vantage points, who bring themselves and their work into the debate connecting democracy and education, which elucidates the reference to counter-hegemonic possibilities in the title.
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Chapter 18. National Identity and the Education of Immigrants: Greece and the Rights of “Non-Citizens” | Vicki Macris

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The challenges brought forth by economic globalization have had a profound impact on international migration patterns, citizenship laws, and immigration policies. Indeed, the politics of immigration have taken center stage around the world, particularly in (many) EU countries, and especially in such times of economic adversity. Immigration has become a highly controversial and politically sensitive subject that (in)forms an essential part of home affairs and internal security matters concerning host countries. It has also become a matter of urgent and moral concern, topping current political agendas as a key issue that has dominated the debates and policy initiatives in European election campaigns not excluding, of course, the (snap) election campaigns in Greece in October 2009 and the “revisions,” thereafter, in immigration policy. Immigration invariably poses a threat to what constitutes national identity and subsequently weakens the (purported) self-contained territorial autonomy of the traditional nation-state, which has, in part, served as a rudimentary compass to orient people economically, politically, culturally, ethnically, and socially in a “homogeneous” society, or an ethnically homogeneous nation. Moreover, there are inherent contradictions and tensions in European immigration policies resulting from “the clash of principles that primarily arise from the counterposing of universal principles, on the one hand, and national interests and the preservation of national identities, on the other” (Kofman, 2005, p. 457).

My own personal experience as a child of repatriated immigrants entering a highly homogeneous and exclusionary (to “foreigners” or “xenoi”) school environment with few, if any non-Greek students in the...

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