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‘Our common world’ belongs to ‘Us’: constructions of otherness in education for sustainable development
Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Nature, Environment and Society (NMS).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6389-0686
Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Nature, Environment and Society (NMS).
2014 (English)In: Critical Studies in Education, ISSN 1750-8487, E-ISSN 1750-8495, Vol. 55, no 3, p. 369-386Article in journal (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this article is to analyse how good intentions in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) discursively construct and maintain differences between ‘Us’ and ‘Them’. The empirical material consists of textbooks about sustainable development used in Swedish schools. An analysis of how ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ are constructed and maintained is done with help from critical race theory, whiteness studies and Popkewitz’ notion of double gestures, exclusion through intentions of inclusion. The analysis departs from five dichotomies: tradition/civilisation, dirtiness/purity, chaos/ order, ignorance/morality and helped/helping. We consider these dichotomies as cog- wheels operating in an ‘Otherness machinery’. Through this machinery, ‘We’ are constructed as knowing, altruistic, conscious and good. The Other is simultaneously constructed as ‘uncivilised’ or as a ‘bad’ Other in need of higher moral standards. With help from these two Others, ‘Swedish exceptionalism’ is formed. The ESD project could then be understood as a colonial and excluding project, and we ask how it is possible to avoid that ‘our common world’ only belong to ‘Us’?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2014. Vol. 55, no 3, p. 369-386
Keywords [en]
environmental education, inequality/social exclusion in education, postcolonial theory, post-structural theory, race
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-14509DOI: 10.1080/17508487.2014.936890ISI: 000342135600008Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84907583026Local ID: 17519OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-14509DiVA, id: diva2:1418030
Available from: 2020-03-30 Created: 2020-03-30 Last updated: 2024-02-05Bibliographically approved

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Ideland, MalinMalmberg, Claes

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