23 SES 13 D, Community Education and the Politics of Resilience: Germany, Japan and New Zealand
This timely symposium addresses the shifting debates around community education and resilience across three different national contexts: Germany, Japan and New Zealand. Community education has a very different status in all three countries. However, the terms community education/learning and community resilience are becoming buzz words in various political arenas (Tett, 2006; Weiss, 2011). Until the 1970’s there were (radical) political traditions in all three countries of educating at community level in order to increase social equality. More recently, the focus of community education has diversified. In all three countries, community education is being employed in different ways to build community resilience in order to address the social precarity produced both by economic conditions such as the globalised labour market, casualization of labour, rising social inequality, and environmental conditions such as natural disasters and climate change (Joseph, 2013; Kitagawa, 2014; Pollard, 2014). There is little academic and empirical research about these new understandings of community education. This symposium will innovatively link community education with the increasingly popular notion of resilience-building, as well as addressing more traditional considerations of social equality.
The symposium reports on three case studies, from Germany, Japan and New Zealand. In Japan and New Zealand, countries which face natural disasters, the notion of community learning is being employed to improve communities’ resilience to threat and risk. In Germany, community education is being revisited to address increased economic precarity and depopulation in rural areas.
The papers in the symposium will address the following research questions, relevant to all:
How is the relationship between community education and resilience defined?
How is the notion of resilience linked to notions of equality?
Is community education to address social precarity and risk led by the state, or the communities themselves?
How do the public and private sector interact in these new understandings of community education?
What groups are included and excluded from this type of education?
Is a focus on community resilience simply a way for governments following neoliberal agendas to abdicate responsibility for their populations and justify public sector cuts?
All the papers report on qualitative data collected from empirical studies and employ a range of critical theories to analyse the findings.
Joseph, J. (2013) Resilience as embedded neoliberalism: a governmentality approach. Resilience: International Policies, Practices and Discourses, 1(1): 38-52. Kitagawa, K. (2014) Continuity and Change in Disaster Education in Japan, History of Education. DOI: 10.1080/0046760X.2014.979255 Pollard, T. J. (2014) Education, the Politics of Resilience, and the War on Youth: A Conversation with Brad Evans, Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, 36(3): 193-213. Tett, Lyn (2006). Community Education, Lifelong Learning & Social Inclusion. Edinburgh: Dunedin Academic Press. Weiß, Wolfgang W. (2011): Kommunale Bildungslandschaften. Chancen, Risiken und Perspektiven. Weinheim: Juventa Verl (Veröffentlichungen der Max-Traeger-Stiftung. 48).
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