ERG SES C 04, Interactive Poster Session
Interactive Poster Session
The current situation supports the view of a divide in society. Racism is on the increase and the right wing is progressively establishing itself. This makes clear that democracy is under threat and raises the perennial question of where and how democratic citizenship education can succeed. The preliminary assumption in the question posed is that democracy must be actively learned by doing. Along with Dewey and Tocqueville this can and should be achieved by means of implementation of fundamental democratic practices – that is essentially the right to co-decide - in associations and communities. As Almond and Verba have shown in their study “The Civic Culture”, association members are able to make better political decisions which can be developed and practiced within the scope of membership of the clubs. In response to the divide in society associative practices become more important and children and young people should be specially targeted. If the role of associations in the democratic society is taken seriously, it should be asked how community clubs determine and facilitate the future democratic discourse within this field of democratic clubs. This will be part of the planned dissertation project. Situated in the field of Social Pedagogy, this presentation of the PhD project continues to follow the tradition of the theoretical concepts by Prof. Dr. Helmut Richter - an educational scientist from Hamburg - concerning education in clubs as well as community education (Kommunalpädagogik) and the methodical approach to action break research (Handlungspausenforschung).
Helmut Richter believes that sports clubs have the best possible opportunities to offer young people democratic citizenship education. Using the example of British football clubs in the field of “Community Owned Sports Clubs”, the presentation shows an overview of the current research findings on democratic citizenship education in the football sector under the influence of commercialization. Examples like FC United of Manchester, Exeter City FC or Lewes FC show the possibilities, but also the difficulties of anti-commercial club schemes. The Manchester based researcher Dr. Adam Brown believes that this clubs will help to increase the amount of community engagement by sports clubs, generating significant participation in schemes and wide ranging benefits in key agendas of education and social inclusion. Brown and the umbrella organisation “Supporters Direct” are of the opinion that community ownership of sports clubs can also assist community cohesion and increase local democratic participation. In addition, most of the “Community Owned Sports Clubs” act as voluntary and private sector children’s or youth work agencies. On the other hand the takeover of former community club Portsmouth FC by ex-Disney CEO Michael Eisner clearly and unmistakably points out the boundaries of the model. This leads us to the main question, whether is democratic citizenship education possible under the influence of commercialisation in sports clubs. In seeking to give a deeper impression of the research, first activities shall be pinpointed.
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 the study 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 author understands 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 results of previous 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. The planned procedure will be presented on the poster. 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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•Habermas, Jürgen (1985): Die neue Unübersichtlichkeit. Frankfurt a. M..
•Patton, M. Q. (2002).:Qualitative research and evaluation methods. Thousand Oaks, CA.
•Richter, Elisabeth at al. (2016): Bildung zur Demokratie. Operationalisierung des Demokratiebegriffs für pädagogische Institutionen, in Knauer, Raingard/Sturzenhecker, Benedikt (eds.): Demokratische Partizipation von Kindern. Weinheim: 106-129.
•Richter, H. u.a. (2003): Handlungspausenforschung. Sozialforschung als Bildungsprozess. Aus der Not der Reflexivität eine Tugend machen, in: Oelerich, G./Otto, H.-U./Micheel, G. (eds.): Empirische Forschung und Soziale Arbeit. Ein Lehr- und Arbeitsbuch. Weinheim: 45-62.
•Richter, Helmut u.a. (2016): Wo wird Mensch Demokrat? Anfragen zur Demokratiebildung in (Sport-)Vereinen, neue praxis 6: 603-611.
•Riekmann, Wibke (2011): Demokratie und Verein. Potenziale demokratischer Bildung in der Jugendarbeit. Wiesbaden.
•SD - Supporters Direct/Brown, Ad. (2015): Incentivising & Supporting Community Ownership in Sport. A Proposal for a Community-Owned Sports Club Scheme.
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