‘Our common world’ belongs to ‘Us’ : constructions of otherness in education for sustainable development

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‘Our common world’ belongs to ‘Us’ : constructions of otherness in education for sustainable development

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title ‘Our common world’ belongs to ‘Us’ : constructions of otherness in education for sustainable development
Author(s) Ideland, Malin ; Malmberg, Claes
Date 2014
English abstract
The aim of this article is to analyse how good intentions in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) discursively construct and maintain differences between ‘Us’ and ‘Them’. The empirical material consists of textbooks about sustainable development used in Swedish schools. An analysis of how ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ are constructed and maintained is done with help from critical race theory, whiteness studies and Popkewitz’ notion of double gestures, exclusion through intentions of inclusion. The analysis departs from five dichotomies: tradition/civilisation, dirtiness/purity, chaos/ order, ignorance/morality and helped/helping. We consider these dichotomies as cog- wheels operating in an ‘Otherness machinery’. Through this machinery, ‘We’ are constructed as knowing, altruistic, conscious and good. The Other is simultaneously constructed as ‘uncivilised’ or as a ‘bad’ Other in need of higher moral standards. With help from these two Others, ‘Swedish exceptionalism’ is formed. The ESD project could then be understood as a colonial and excluding project, and we ask how it is possible to avoid that ‘our common world’ only belong to ‘Us’?
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17508487.2014.936890 (link to publisher's fulltext)
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Host/Issue Critical Studies in Education;3
Volume 55
ISSN 1750-8487
Pages 369-386
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) environmental education
inequality/social exclusion in education
postcolonial theory
post-structural theory
race
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/17519 (link to this page)

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