Challenging Deliberation

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Challenging Deliberation

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Title: Challenging Deliberation
Author: Levinson, Meira L.
Citation: Levinson, Meira. 2003. Challenging Deliberation. Theory and Research in Education, 1, no. 1: 23-49.
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Abstract: Civic education is a primary aim of public schooling in liberal democratic states, which rely on a well-educated, civic-minded citizenry for their perpetuation. Because liberal democracies can differ, it is important to decide for what kind of democracy schools should be educating. Recently, deliberative democracy has come into vogue as a political – and hence civic educational – goal. Because of
differences in perspectives as a result of life experiences, however, racial, ethnic, economic, and/or religious minorities are disadvantaged in deliberative settings. Even if they fully participate, and even if all citizens welcome their participation, minority group members are unlikely to be able to influence debate appropriately. Furthermore, the steps that teachers or schools might take to overcome this problem in the future themselves impose serious costs on children, especially those
who grow up in segregated minority communities. These costs may outweigh
deliberative democracy’s putative benefits over adversarial democracy.
Published Version: doi:10.1177/1477878503001001003
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