Cultural Appropriation of Concepts of DemocracyAnastasia Zanni2016-12-29T12:00:32+02:00
G. KONTOGIANNOPOULOU-POLYDORIDES, G. FRAGOULIS, A. ZANNI, M. NTELIKOU (2003) “Cultural Appropriation of Concepts of Democracy”. European Educational Research Journal, 2(3), 410-429.
This article investigates how 14-year-old students seem to conceptualise democracy in four countries, namely, Italy, Germany, Hungary and Greece. In particular, it will be examined whether adolescents living in different cultural milieus develop different conceptions and different practices regarding democracy. The article indirectly questions the way in which teaching of social and political education in school is related to students’ concepts and attitudes. Students’ responses in the second phase questionnaires of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) research are the focus of the analysis in this article. A crucial question is whether similarities or homogenisation of students’ conceptions regarding democracy are viewed as the result of equal participation in the processes of constructing meaning through education, for example, or as the result of (oppressive?) homogenisation in school and society. However, it will be argued that there is always varying meaning construction and a definite (re)formulation of practices in any conception, and in any practice, a particular cultural appropriation of concepts and practices. From this perspective, the important issue explored in this article is the ways in which independent-contextual construction of meaning for democracy as well as in relation to the dominant in the West model emerges across the four countries reviewed.