Facing ambivalence in education: a strange(r's) hope?

Ethics and Education 6 (1):15 - 25 (2011)
Niclas Månsson
Mälardalens Högskola
This article explores how our understanding of ambivalence would shift if we saw it as an inherent and essential part of the ordinary work of education. Following Bauman's sociology of the stranger and Derrida's deconstructions of hospitality, the article unfolds in three parts. In the first part we discuss the preconditions of modern education which since the Enlightenment has been guided by the postulate that there is and ought to be a rational order in the social world. In the second part we consider the intolerance of strangers the modern will-to-order has caused. Since the stranger appears as a liminal category that falls between the boundaries of already established social categories, she can only be viewed as an antithesis of a well-ordered society. In the third part we ask how educational spaces hospitable to strangers can be opened up, and argue that we would do better not to construe living with ambivalence as a problem, but as a quest for humanity and justice.
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DOI 10.1080/17449642.2011.587343
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Writing and Difference.Jacques Derrida - 1978 - University of Chicago Press.
Of Hospitality.Jacques Derrida - 2000 - Stanford University Press.

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