Educational Theory 62 (4):465-486 (2012)

Michael Merry
University of Amsterdam
In this essay I defend the following prima facie argument: civic virtue is not dependent on integration and in fact may be best fostered under conditions of segregation. I demonstrate that civic virtue can and does take place under conditions of involuntary segregation, but that voluntary separation—as a response to segregation—is a more effective way to facilitate it. While segregation and disadvantage commonly coexist, spatial concentrations, particularly when there is a strong voluntary aspect present, often aid in fostering civic virtue. Accordingly, so long as separation provides the conditions necessary for the promotion of civic virtue, integration is not an irreducible good
Keywords segregation  schools  virtue  Putnam  voluntary separation  voluntary separation
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DOI 10.1111/j.1741-5446.2012.00457.x
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