Understanding Cultural and Social Differences in Processes of Learning
Author: Zvi Bekerman
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Migrants and minorities are always at risk of being caught in essentialized cultural definitions and being denied the right to express their cultural preferences because they are perceived as threats to social cohesion. Migrants and minorities respond to these difficulties in multiple ways — as active agents in the pedagogical, political, social, and scientific processes that position them in this or that cultural sphere. On the one hand, they reject ascribed cultural attributes while striving towards integration in a variety of social spheres, e.g. school and workplace, in order to achieve social mobility. On the other hand, they articulate demands for cultural self-determination. This discursive duality is met with suspicion by the majority culture. For societies with high levels of migration or with substantial minority cultures, questions related to the meaning of cultural heterogeneity and the social and cultural limits of learning and communication (e.g. migration education or critical multiculturalism) are very important. It is precisely here where the chances for new beginnings and new trials become of great importance for educational theorizing, which urgently needs to find answers to current questions about individual freedom, community/cultural affiliations, and social and democratic cohesion. Answers to these questions must account for both ‘political’ and ‘learning’ perspectives at the macro, mezzo, and micro contextual levels. The contributions of this edited volume enhance the knowledge in the field of migrant/minority education, with a special emphasis on the meaning of culture and social learning for educational processes.
On any given day nearly half the worlds population is wearing blue jeans. This is entirely extraordinary. Yet there has never been a serious attempt to understand the causes, nature and consequences of denim as the global garment of our world. This book takes up that challenge with gusto. It gives clear, if surprising, explanations for why this is the case, challenging the accepted history of jeans and showing why the reasons cannot be commercial. While discussing the consequences of denim at the global level, the book consists of some exemplary studies by anthropologists of what blue jeans mean in a variety of local situations. These range from the discussion of hip-hop jeans in Germany, denim and sex in Milan through to the connection between denim and recycling in the US. But through all these intensively researched ethnographies of local denim we build our understanding of the most curious of all features of blue jeans - the rise of global denim.
This collection analyses some of the factors that contribute to racism and exclusion in Britain and Germany such as citizenship laws, racial violence, discrimination in education and employment, anti-semitism and the rise of the far right. Strategies to combat racism, racist violence and discrimination in Britain are described and analysed and proposals for anti-discrimination legislation in Germany are considered.
Creolizing Europe critically interrogates creolization as the decolonial, rhizomatic thinking necessary for understanding the cultural and social transformations set in motion through trans/national dislocations. Exploring the usefulness, transferability, and limitations of creolization for thinking post/coloniality, raciality and othering not only as historical legacies but as immanent to and constitutive of European societies, this volume develops an interdisciplinary dialogue between the social sciences and the humanities. It juxtaposes US-UK debates on 'hybridity', 'mixed-race' and the 'Black Atlantic' with Caribbean and Latin American theorizations of cultural mixing in order to engage with Europe as a permanent scene of Edouard Glissant's creolization. Further, through a comparative methodological angle, the focus on Europe is broadened in order to understand the role of Europe's colonial past in the shaping of its post/migrant and diasporic present. 'Europe' thus becomes an expanded and contested term, unthinkable without reference to its historical legacies and possible futures. While not all the contributions in this volume explicitly address Edouard Glissant's approach to creolization, they all engage with aspects of his thinking. All of the chapters explore the usefulness, transferability, and limitations of creolization to the European context. As such, this edited collection offers a significant contribution and intervention in the fields of European Studies, Postcolonial Studies, and Cultural Studies on two levels. First, by emphasizing that race and "cultural mixing" are central to any thinking about and theorization on/of Europe, and second, by applying Glissant's perspective to a variety of empirical work on diasporic spaces, conviviality, citizenship, aesthetics, race, racism, sexuality, gender, cultural representation and memory. "
Featuring work by Thomas Hirschorn and Los Carpinteros among others, "Volksgarten" (People's Garden) explores identification systems and strategies of belonging within communities. This volume focuses on districts in Graz, Austria, as models for the possibilities and complexities of social utopias and communal life.
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