23 SES 01 C, Citizenship Education
The "crisis of democracy" that has been spreading since the beginning of the 21st century (cf. Diamond 2015) is clearly noticeable in Europe. Already in the 90’s, Dahrendorf warned of an "authoritarian century" (1998) in which globalization could become a risk for democracy because it undermines cohesion. Heitmeyer interprets the international emergence of authoritarian movements as a reaction to a loss of control felt individually or socially (Heitmeyer 2018). This loss of control gives impetus to forces that want to counter the "new confusion" (Habermas 1985) with simple solutions. Such forces succeed in mobilizing and organizing the critical mood against 'those up there' who 'do what they want'. With racism and nationalism, they influence the political agenda and reinforce a tendency towards polarization (Demirović 2018, p. 28).
The thesis of a "crisis of democracy" is now widely shared. The result is a division of society that, among other things, manifests itself in a lack of willingness to compromise and in an idealization of the past as a simplified response to the globalized world. In order to be able to counter the division of society, education is needed - because democracy is the only social order that needs to be learned - and the will to come together with others to exchange relevant questions (Negt/Morgenroth 2017).
Wibke Riekmann locates such discourses in democracy anchored in everyday life (Riekmann 2011, p. 65), which in her opinion, has the best potential to ensure the link between democracy and pedagogy and refers to Adorno. The demand of all education must be that Auschwitz is not once again (Adorno 1971, p. 88). Riekmann follows on from this when she states that a democracy anchored in daily life has the greatest potential to prevent fascism. She sees the right place in clubs and associations.
According to this understanding, social pedagogy is assumed to be child and youth education, which is realized by its institutional connection as association pedagogy in unity of democracy practice and education and can thus fulfil the social pedagogical educational mandate for democracy education (cf. Richter, E. et al. 2016, p. 114).
Can such democracy-building be realized in clubs? The decisive conditions for this are the structural characteristics of voluntariness, membership, democratic organizational structures, democratic honorary office, locality and public sphere (Ahlrichs 2019, p. 117ff.; Richter, E. et al. 2016, p. 114). If associations organize themselves accordingly, then children and young people can acquire deliberative democracy and live democratic practice (Richter, E. et al. 2016, p. 114). However, this does not only require the opening of democratic experiences, but also their reflection, for example in Germany guided by full-time youth education officers. According to the studies on Stuttgart and Hamburg youth associations (Ahlrichs 2019; Riekmann 2011), the focus is on sports clubs because, measured against their reach as the largest type of club in terms of numbers and their broader access possibilities, they offer "theoretically the best possible potentials for democracy education for so-called disadvantaged young people, i.e. for young people with a migration or educationally distant background" (Richter, H. et al. 2016, p. 606f.).
In the lecture we will first answer the question "where" can a life-world democracy education be realized - in the association as a place of discursive opinion and will formation (1). In a second step, we explain "how" democracy formation happens or can happen in associations (2). We compare these theoretical considerations with empirical results from a study in youth associations in a German city (3) and an explorative survey in an association in an English city (4) in order to identify challenges for further research (5).
In a study conducted in Stuttgart (Ahlrichs 2019), it was examined whether a disproportion between the theoretical demands on associations as a place of democratic education and the democratic self-image of youth education officers could be detected. A central question of the study is whether democracy education is at all identified as a central task of youth associations. A total of 14 youth associations and youth rings based in Stuttgart were surveyed. Under the name "Community Owned Sports Clubs", a large number of new sports clubs have been founded and transformed in England, especially in the field of football, which are democratically run by their members. They are of interest against the background of the democracy formation in the club mentioned above. For this reason, the famous club “FC United of Manchester” mentioned, was exploratory examined as its prototype on the basis of the operationalization of the concept of democracy for educational institutions (cf. Richter, E. et al. 2016, p. 126f.). A total of 8 members of the community works team and 30 young people were interviewed. The procedure in both studies results from the orientation towards the principles of pause "action break research" (Handlungspausenforschung) (Richter, H. et al. 2003). This method establishes the pedagogical connection between theory and practice by motivating educational processes. Its aim is not only to serve descriptive social research, but also to enable an explicitly pedagogical approach. Based on the concept of action pause research, the pedagogical in the sense of educational processes should be integrated into the method itself (Richter, H. et al. 2003: p. 51ff.). The authors understand this to mean that during research, a mutual, dialogical reappraisal of a common question of the researched and the researchers takes place. In contrast to other methods, the approach permits an open outcome and aims to expand the knowledge of all participants to the researched area. These research methods was also be preceded by a document analysis of relevant documents. By linking these three methods, it should be ensured that a comprehensive picture of the object of research is obtained.
In theory, associations have the potential to open up democratic experiences to children and young people, to reflect on these with them and to jointly expand democratic opportunities for co-determination. This makes them, especially in the current risk, a predestined place to learn about democracy as a form of government and as a way of life. However, the results of the two studies presented show that associations are not aware of this potential. This results in two research strands that can be pursued further. The present study on the self-image of Stuttgart youth education officers confirms that elements of deliberative democracy in the youth associations surveyed are at least designed and to be discovered as "germ forms" (Richter, E. et al. 2016, p. 122). This includes educational opportunities at all levels of the youth association. The ideal types presented here as examples can stimulate discussions in youth associations and motivate full-time and voluntary workers to analyse and critically reflect on their own democratic educational processes. The results of the individual case study in England are not representative and remain limited to the "FC United of Manchester". Nevertheless, the club is regarded as a prototype for the "Community Owned Sports Clubs" and serves as a model for other clubs. To a limited extent, typical characteristics that could be helpful for the research options presented can be anticipated. A more comprehensive survey in Great Britain would therefore be necessary. If democracy-building is to be profiled as a core task of clubs and youth associations, its concrete implementation must continue to be analysed and reflected upon with those responsible. The aim is to maintain and strengthen the associations as one of the few places in society where children and young people can experience democratic practice.
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