Über schriftsprachliche Voraussetzungen demokratischer Teilhabe
Einführung in die Tagung
Professor Dr. Klaus Künzel,Institut für Bildungsphilosophie, Anthropologie und Pädagogik der Lebensspanne an der Universität zu Köln
Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to welcome you to our international conference on literacy and participation. The title we have chosen is one which I believe is not only of contemporary academic interest but which reflects a growing concern about the social and human costs of educational deprivation and exclusion. Although our meeting’s main attention will be focussed on whether basic standards of reading and writing are indispensible requirements for democratic participation, its wider social implications should not be overlooked.
Generally speaking, the relationship between literacy and individual abilities to care about and take part in public affairs is characterized by the human capacity to apply – and profit from – basic techniques of communication. Expressive skills such as rhetorics and the art of wording can be regarded as indispensible ingredients of interactive competence, and no person seems to be more dependent on its refinement and situational appropriateness than the professional politician. Such qualities are by and large conditioned by the strategic objectives of the spoken word as it is directed towards and received by public audiences. But is the welfare and strength of democratic orders sufficiently provided for by political mechanisms which are primarily founded in the tradition of oral interaction? I think not.
My scepticism is founded on at least two observations. First: Political communication designed to address...
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