Academic journal article Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal

Pluralism, Corporatism, and Educating Citizens

Academic journal article Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal

Pluralism, Corporatism, and Educating Citizens

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT/RESUME

Educating for citizenship is faced with many obstacles not the least of which is the ambiguity of citizenship itself. Problematic, too, are the possible forms such an education may take, since schooling is influenced by claims to political legitimacy and the varieties of civic initiation that evolve from such assertions. The disparate senses of public interest are noted as is the increasing role of corporatism in liberal democracies with its attendant claim to determine the scope of citizenship. Also discussed is the requirement of the state to provide an education for citizenship based on the notion that it ought to be one with a democratic society's basic ideals. But it is suggested that the pursuit of group interests significantly hinders the attainment of this objective. The work suggests that an education for citizenship in a democratic polity, where political legitimacy lies with individual citizens, will most likely be achieved through a liberal education designed for that purpose. However, the paper i ndicates that such an end will only be successfully pursued if the influence on public education of corporatism, and corporate capitalism in particular, is substantially diminished.

L'education pour la citoyennete fait face a plusieurs obstacles, en particulier l'ambiguite de la citoyennete elle-meme. Ce qui est aussi problematique est les formes possibles que revetira une telle education puisque l'instruction est influee par des pretentions a la legitimite politique et les varietes d'initiation civique qui se developpent sur la base de telles assertions. On remarque aussi les sens disparates del' interet public ainsi que le role croissant du corporatisme dans les democraties liberales, avec sa pretention concomitante a determiner l'etendue de la citoyennete. On discute aussi l'exigence pour l'etat de fournir une education pour la citoyennete, basee sur la notion qu'elle devrait etre d'accord avec les ideaux d'une societe democratique. Mais on suggere aussi que la poursuite des interets collectifs empechent d'une facon significative l'acomplissement de cet objectif. L'article suggere qu'on atteindra une education pour la citoyennete dans un regime democratique, ou la legitimite reside da ns les citoyens individuels, avec la plus de probabilite, au moyen d'une education liberale concue pour ce but. Cependant, l'article indique aussi qu'on poursuivra un tel but avec succes seulement si l'on diminue considerablement l'influence du corporatisme et, en particulier, le capitalisme corporatiste, sur l' education publique.

Introduction

It now seems banal to characterise contemporary western liberal democracies as societies facing a growing recondite and persistent tessellation, with its origin traced to a cultural fragmenting as citizens embrace diverse identities growing from ethnic allegiances, religious affiliations, personal perceptions of morality, and views about. what may be valuable in life. Its impact is observed in an apparent decay in the ideal of commonality that, in turn, expands differences, for example, in interpreting moral and civic engagement. Evident, too, are differences in portraying liberal political theory, since liberals disagree about the concept of liberty with the consequence that the ideal of protecting freedom influences contrary conceptions of the role of government as well as interpretations of public interest. Plainly, these characteristics define conditions in Canada, but Cairns also suggests that in this country there is a further fragmentation of citizenship created by multiple nationalisms and by the poli ticized diversity of modernity. (1) Obviously, these factors raise particular problems for understanding the concept of "citizenship" and the means for its development through an appropriate education. Moreover, Cairns warns us that if Canada is to survive as one country, it will be necessary to respond to this variegated condition by accommodating diversity without eroding an interconnectedness essential for the collective undertaking of future civic tasks. …

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