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ERIC Number: EJ874272
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 5
ISSN: ISSN-0790-8040
Citizenship: A Way of Being "in" One's World and "of" One's World
Ryan, Anne; Fallon, Helen
Adult Learner: The Irish Journal of Adult and Community Education, p35-46 2005
This article explores the global dimensions of citizenship. By way of contextualising the discussion, the authors describe a component of a course that was designed to introduce students to the lives of people they may otherwise never have had an opportunity to encounter. The authors' challenge, as they saw it, was to reveal the humanity, individuality and ordinariness of these "strangers". The purpose was to gain an insight into the perspectives and values of those who differ in significant ways so that people can empathise with them and better appreciate the varied cultural, social and economic contexts that shape the world people share. The authors used literature as the means to gain easy access to a range of diverse cultural perspectives. In particular, they selected novels by African women writers. The focus was on what the stories revealed about the everyday joys and cares of the characters rather than on the literary merit of the novels. Three fundamental principles permeate the authors' approach to citizenship. The first is a belief that awareness and understanding are vital to build a strong civil society because they counter the forces that alienate or disconnect people from each other. The second is that those whose "voices" have been silenced cannot participate in their society and their exclusion impoverishes the community as a whole. The third is that the primary purpose of a strong civil society is not to fill gaps in the state's provision of services but rather it is to ensure that a multitude of arenas exist where important ethical as well as practical issues can be discussed with a view to creating informed public opinion. (Contains 2 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A