Canon, Culture and Democratic Education: Consequences for Muslim Identity Formation in Sweden and the Netherlands. Paper for the panel on ‘Normative Political Theory and Public Policy’ on the ‘Workshops in Political Theory – Fourth Annual Conference’ at Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdom, 3 – 5 September, 2007.

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Canon, Culture and Democratic Education: Consequences for Muslim Identity Formation in Sweden and the Netherlands. Paper for the panel on ‘Normative Political Theory and Public Policy’ on the ‘Workshops in Political Theory – Fourth Annual Conference’ at Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdom, 3 – 5 September, 2007.

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Publication Conference Paper, other
Title Canon, Culture and Democratic Education: Consequences for Muslim Identity Formation in Sweden and the Netherlands. Paper for the panel on ‘Normative Political Theory and Public Policy’ on the ‘Workshops in Political Theory – Fourth Annual Conference’ at Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdom, 3 – 5 September, 2007.
Author(s) Stoltz, Pauline
Date 2007-09
English abstract
In 2006 both the Netherlands and Sweden had public debates over the possible introduction of a canon in education. In the Netherlands this concerned the introduction of a canon of history and culture which was subsequently introduced in 2007; in the case of Sweden it concerned a literary canon which was not introduced. Both debates should be seen against the background of the controversial presence of Muslims in these societies. The article takes as its starting point Benhabib’s observation that strong or mosaic multiculturalism often is mired in futile attempts to single out one master narrative as more significant than others in the constitution of personal identities (Benhabib, 2002, p 16). A canon could be seen as such a master narrative. I raise the question whether a canon is a proper means to promote the democratic inclusion and equality of Muslim children in European polities. Using Torres statement (2006) that canons and cultures are not in principle opposed, but have a difficult time cohabiting, I discuss what should be shared in education. Rather than focusing on national identity I emphasize the citizenship of children. I argue that the recognition of (majority and minority) cultures should be seen against the expansion of democratic inclusion, greater social and political justice and cultural fluidity. Such recognition can be solved by means of an education for democratic citizenship and a focus on personal and moral development in ways which do not require the tool of a canon as part of education legislation.
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) culture
democratic education
national identities
Muslims
Sweden
the Netherlands
canon
Humanities/Social Sciences
social sciences
Note Under review
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/5240 (link to this page)

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