20 SES 16, Values and Common Places for Experiences with Peace, Internalization and Literacy
We will present the results from a research project funded by the Baltic Sea Region. The purpose of the project was to investigate the importance of new identity structures and cosmopolitan intercultural learning processes for peaceful versus hostile ethnic relations in multicultural globalized societies, based on a study about youth values in the Czech Republic, Poland and Sweden.
The overall issues were: How is the attitude towards violence / non-violence influenced by informal as well as formal learning, including media and internet learning? How can the concepts of positive peace and new cosmopolitanism be related to each other? How can identity issues, social and economic justice and minority policies be related to peaceful relationships or the opposite? What is the role of a long period of historical peace and democracy and experience of war and dictatorship for the development of peaceful values?
Our starting point was the concepts globalization and cosmopolitanism and how they relate to concepts such as interculturalism, mixophobia and mixophilia. Globalization is described as a process that involves change in the spatial organization of social relations and transactions that generate transcontinental flows and networks of activities and power (Held& McGrew, 1999). Cosmopolitanism, in turn, involves similar processes, but also emphasizes ideas and social aspects such as human rights, equality, democracy and respect for the differently (Beck & Grande, 2006). Interculturalism is regarded as an interplay between cultures (Lahdenperä, 2006). This is related to the sociologist Bauman's terms mixophobia, fear of mixing with strangers, and mixophilia, the inclination to meet with a stranger (Bauman, 2015).
Intercultural learning is defined as a dynamic process in which individuals gain knowledge and get tools to deal with cultural and social differences within the framework of a democratic and multicultural society. Cosmopolitan learning involves acquiring and developing a moral approach to the whole world's population.
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 his social contexts mediated through a variety of channels (Ziehe, 2009, Graviz, 2012).
Identity is something we construct and communicate when we interact with the outside world (Burr 1995). The subject is created in discourses (Foucault 1972). Language is the most important tool for communication and therefore we create identity by talking about it. We compile discourses with narratives. People cannot live without identity, and the awareness of where they are in a social and historical perspective is necessary to be able to orientate themselves in life and see life meaningful (Lundin & Karlsson, 2006).
Peace is more than just the absence of war and violence. It includes peace on a deeper social plane, arising in a situation that supports a peaceful settlement of conflicts (Galtung & Jacobsen, 2000). This implies a fair distribution of public resources, both to individuals and to social institutions. Such a situation is also characterized by the absence of indirect or structural violence, that is, different types of violence inherent in a society where more people can die in the long run because of unequal and discriminatory treatment than at the outbreak of open violence Galtung & Jacobsen, 1990). However, this is not enough to create a truly peaceful society. Peaceful dispositions among humans must evolve, which includes insight into what violence and injustice means in their own lives and the world and reflecting on others suffering and traumatic experiences in the present and historical. This can be related to the concept of cosmopolitan empathy, where awareness of human suffering is not confined to its own nation.
The project was carried out with a mixed methods design, in which both qualitative and quantitative methods are used. The qualitative approach is inspired by pedagogical ethnography (Qvarsell, B. 1996, Bryman, A. 2002) and Paulo Freire’s (2000, 1972) theories of dialogue in the educational practices. In short, it can be said that the project lasted from 2012 to 2017. The work began with generic conversations in focus groups and individual interviews in schools with teachers and high school students in Poland and Sweden 2012-2013. The following year, interviewing and collection continued with surveys. In total, the survey was conducted in 23 schools, of which 22 upper secondary schools and a primary school and in an orphanage with both primary and secondary school students. A total of six schools in Sweden, seven schools and one orphanage in the Czech Republic and ten schools in Poland. In fourteen schools a total of 1076 students have answered a questionnaire. No student refused to participate in the survey, although we emphasized that the participation was voluntary. In addition, principals, teachers and students (more than 390) have participated in initial interviews, group discussions and generating conversations. The qualitative analysis was conducted with the computer program Atlas.ti, and the quantitative data were analysed using the SPSS program.
Young people today exist more or less in a world of intertwined transnational networks. The national narratives in the three countries affect the identity of young people, there is much in common between their experiences and views of what is valuable. Many see themselves as co-creators of the world and new values. The youth create their identity and values within historical, political and social contexts. In Poland and in the Czech Republic they speak of the state's intrusion into their lives, historical memories of World War II and the experience of foreign domination. Unlike Czech and Polish youth, Swedish do not take up the concept of freedom. The Swedish narrative presupposes freedom of action, opportunities to think freely and to travel virtually unhindered. The national and family narratives affect the possible emergence of peaceful dispositions. Many young people in Poland and the Czech Republic are far more nationalistic than in Sweden. We are doubtful how to interpret our survey results, but we still see that peaceful dispositions are more likely to spread in a country that has for a long time enjoyed peace. Other factors can also affect, for example long-term democracy as a political and educational system. We can not distinguish one single type of new identity construction. We found identities that express what Bauman calls mixophilia (openness to the stranger) or mixophobia (fear of the stranger). Discussions as well as survey results show the importance of friendship relations to the creation of peaceful dispositions. What is crucial is the opportunity to create friendly relationships with the other. None of the students we discussed with believed in the emergence of a truly peaceful society. A cosmopolitan approach can lead to a peaceful attitude towards the world by embracing cosmopolitan empathy and a sense of universal responsibility.
Bauman, Zygmunt (2015), Dilemas del vecino contemporaneo. http://www.revistaenie.clarin.com/ideas/Zygmunt-Bauman-Dilemas-vecino-contemporaneo_0_1425457449.html Burr, Vivien (1995). An introduction to social constructionism. London: Routledge Beck, Ulrich & Grande, Edgar (2006). Det kosmopolitiska Europa. Samhälle och politik under den andra moderniteten. Göteborg: Daidalos. Bryman, A. (2002). Samhällsvetenskapliga metoder. Stockholm: Liber. Freire, P. (2000; 1972). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum Foucault, Michel (1972). The Archeology of Knowledge. London: Tavistock Publications. Galtung , Johan (1990). Cultural Violence. Journal of Peace Research. Vol. 27, No. 3 (Aug., 1990), pp. 291-305. Published by: Sage Publications, Ltd. Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/423472 Galtung, Johan & Jacobsen, C. G. (2000). Searching for Peace: The Road to TRANSCEND. London: Pluto Press. Graviz, Ana (2012). Att lära interkulturalitet genom medier. In K. Goldstein-Kyaga, Katrin, Borgström, Maria & Hübinette Tobias (red.), Den interkulturella blicken i pedagogik - inte bara goda föresatser. Södertörn, Studies in Education 2. Huddinge: Södertörn högskola. Held, David & Mcgrew, Anthonny (1999). Global Transformations- Politics, Economics, Culture. Co-auteur: David Goldblatt Jonathan Perraton. London: Polity Press. Lahdenperä, Pirjo (2006). Interkulturellt lärande i ledarskap – hur rektor kan bli interkulturella ledare. Lorentz Hans & Bergstedt (red.). I Interkulturella perspektiv- Pedagogik i mångkulturella lärandemiljöer. Lund: Studentlitteratur. Lundin, Robert & Karlsson, Gunnar (2006). Identitetsfenomenet och dess kännetecken, i Borgström, M. & Goldstein-Kyaga, K. (red) Gränsöverskridande identiteter i globaliseringens tid. Ungdomar, migration och kampen för fred. Stockholm: Södertörns högskola. Qualitative data analysis software - ATLAS.ti [http://www.google.se/search?hl=sv&source=hp&q=Atlas.ti&meta=&rlz=1W1SKPB_sv&aq=f&aqi=g7&aql=&oq&=&gs_rfai=), nedladdad 1.4.10 Qvarsell, Birgitta (1996). Pedagogisk etnografi för praktiken: En diskussion om förändringsfokuserad pedagogisk forskning. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. Ziehe, Thomas (2009). Normal learning problems’ in youth: in the context of underlying cultural convictions. I Illeris. Knud (red.) Contemporary theories of learning. Learning theorists … in their own words. London: Routledge.
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