20 SES 02, Freedom of Every Day Interactions: Youth and Democratic Culture in Hungary
In this paper we will present some of the final results of the research project Peace, New Identity Constructions and Cosmopolitan, Intercultural Learning Processes in the Global Society based on an investigation in the Czech Republic, Poland and Sweden. The main objectives were to investigate if, and in that case how, new identity constructions and intercultural, cosmopolitan learning processes contribute to peaceful or hostile ethnic relations in the multicultural, global society. In our presentation we will focus on discourses, which became visible in our data regarding, i.e. multiculture/interculture and peace.
Intercultural education should be seen both as a culture science and as a practice, which uses diversity as a starting point for human learning, socialization and development. We use the concept of culture in a broad and dynamic sense, which includes different views and experiences based on gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, class etcetera (Goldstein-Kyaga, Borgström & Hübinette, 2012). Sometimes the concept intercultural is used as opposed to the concept of multiculturalism. Alsina (2008) considers multicultural discourse as an expression for a tolerance based on a power position, which only accepts the culture of the Other from the perspective of the own culture. This will lead to an ethnocentric and differentiating perspective, which conserves and creates new differences. The intercultural discourse includes according to him a more mutual respect trying to overcome the tolerant differentiation and develop an own consciousness about diversity from the own principles of diversity.
We use the term intercultural in its dynamic, interaction-oriented and egalitarian view sense. Moreover, the focus is on intercultural learning processes in a broader sense, not only as an activity in the classroom initiated by teachers. Processes of socialization and learning also take place in several learning situations e.g. through the information technology and communication and in the interaction between the individual and their social contexts mediated through a variety of channels (Ziehe, 2009, Graviz, 2012).
Galtung & Jacobsen’s (2000) concept of positive peace is used to emphasize the fact that peace is more than just the absence of violence. It refers to a genuinely peaceful situation characterized by peaceful values of the individual and social institutions that support equitable distribution of public resources and the peaceful resolution of conflicts. Such a situation is also characterized by the absence of "indirect" or "structural violence", i.e. a type of violence inherent in the society where more people might die in the long run due to unequal and discriminatory treatment than at the outbreak of open violence (Idem, 2000, Galtung, 1990).
The concept ‘transition’ constructs change as a passage from a well-defined point of departure to a pre-defined destination. We can identify strategies for ‘transition’, which link narratives of the past and present to imaginaries for the future, drawing upon particular sets of discourses. Fairclough describes the transition from the centralized economies and single-party states to market economis of Western-stylemulti-party democracies (Fairclough, 2006). In this paper the concept “transition” is used to analyse changes in ethnic relations due to the specific historic and political changes in Poland, Czech Republic and Sweden and the present globalization.
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