07 SES 12, Is There Social Justice and Intercultural Dialogue in a Neo-Liberal Educational Policy?
Educational scholars who have theorized about the interrelatedness of democracy and diversity have identified various lacunas in the extent to which western democracies recognize and address issues that relate to social, cultural and religious diversity (Banks 2004; Osler and Starkey 2005). However, we still know little about the ‘diversity issues’ that adolescents themselves identify and experience. Aim of the study was to gain insight in the current ‘diversity literacy’ of adolescents and contribute to international scholarly debate on key elements of democratic and intercultural education (Parker 2003; Veugelers 2011). A broad concept of diversity was adopted. We expected students to refer to issues regarding three types of culturally embedded differences (Parekh 2000) as well as other types of differences. The paper also describes four dichotomies between citizen categories in the Netherlands (Leeman and Reid 2006) that we expected students to refer to. In focus groups, students were asked to narrate about what they value about living in a pluralist society, what does and what does not go well, and which responsibilities they identify in this context. In a subsequent individual interview, students were invited to elaborate on their perceptions. A thematic narrative analysis was conducted.
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