Radically democratising education? New student movements, equality and engagement in common, yet plural, worlds

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This article investigates the relation between democracy and education in the context of radical student activism. Drawing upon participant observation and interviews with left-wing student activists in New Zealand 2012 and 2015, it argues that a one-sided preoccupation with the student activists’ public actions as attempts to unleash disruptive forces of the political risks ignoring the undecidability and profoundly experimental and educative aspects of their activities. By paying attention to the less publicly visible social settings – or ‘free spaces’ – shaped by ideals of flat, horizontal democracy, the article shows how the students continuously mediate their radicality by negotiating and balancing a sense of ‘responsibility to act’ with a sense of ‘responsibility to otherness’. Democratic engagement thereby not only becomes a question of ‘disruptive’ political influence but also comes to revolve around the continuous creation of spaces for collective self-education and experimentation with the conjuring of a common – yet plural – world.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftResearch in Education
Vol/bind103
Nummer1
Sider (fra-til)85-100
Antal sider16
ISSN0034-5237
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 17 maj 2019

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