London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Central and peripheral dialogic resources in the development of societal and citizenship understanding

Author(s) Jeff Vass  
Publisher CiCe Publications  
Year 2002  
Editor Future Citizens in Europe Ed. Alistair Ross  
Language English  
Age group -  
European social thought in the last twenty years (e.g. Kvale, Sweden; Habermas, Germany; Vattimo, Italy; Giddens, UK) has been drawn to the 'boundary conditions' of citizenship. It is here, on 'the boundary' where people are located and from where they draw on the resources for debate and understanding of the polity. Hence, it is the local intellectual 'resources', on which pedagogy inevitably draws, by which citizens both peripheralise themselves or gain access to legitimate and empowered social positions and identities. Pedagogy is dependent on the practices of dialogue and argumentation to educate and explore the issues of citizenship and identity. However, professionals in the delivery of education may find the powers of dialogue and argumentation under erosion. This paper considers the contemporary condition of social argumentation and dialogue and their status within the discourse of citizenship. Secondly, it looks at the forces of erosion (from the tendencies of the 'Audit Society' and 'Consumer Society') which need to be considered by professionals. Thirdly, it compares and contrasts, in summary form, attempts in UK and Sweden to restore the balance between 'centre' and 'periphery' in the debates on education, training and work. This paper discusses the way in which professionals might approach dialogue and argumentation from a localised perspective and deal with the special character of 'participant resources' in the development of European citizenship and identity.

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