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ERIC Number: EJ804735
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1545-4517
Devouring the Other: Democracy in Music Education
Gould, Elizabeth
Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education, v7 n1 p29-44 Jan 2008
In this essay, the author builds on Val Plumwood's (1993, p. 192) notion of "devouring the other" to address fundamental problems of social justice and difference in liberal democracies and music education. The problem with liberal democracies is that they assimilate (devour) difference; consensual treatment of its citizens is predicated on the notion that majority decisions benefit minority concerns. So-called "democratic" practices in music education are largely symbolic as they do not change power relations in classrooms. Violence (symbolic or otherwise) occurs when difference (the other) is subsumed through democratic processes that outwardly appear rational, normal and justified. The author links this problem to dualistic thinking in Western culture, through which the "other" is colonised by a variety of processes that devour difference. In music education these are as real as they are in other spheres of education. Drawing from feminist and other literatures, the author's aim is to uncover the processes that devour the other in order to present a vivid and contrasting perspective to the question of democracy and music education. (Contains 9 notes.)
MayDay Group. Brandon University School of Music, 270 18th Street, Brandon, Manitoba R7A 6A9, Canada. Tel: 204-571-8990; Fax: 204-727-7318; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A