The trouble of ‘living with others’: Language, community and the politics of belonging

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In this article I ask myself the following question: ‘Rather than try to escape the seemingly awful choice between the private and the public, between the particular and universal, or between justice and freedom, I ask if I simply have the option to enact democracy and see ‘what follows?’. To reach that question I engage with an empirical problem, namely the struggle over the legitimacy of the Irish language as a public good, and more specifically as the medium for education in an Irish secondary school. In response to this I analyse the situation in terms of a politics of belonging. However, I then flip my reasoning, questioning its tendency towards ‘master explication’ and the privileged position of the theorist, and instead explore the possibilities offered by an anarchic approach. This latter orientation involves a reading against myself through a dialogue with the work of Gert Biesta as he engages with Jacques Rancière’s concept of subjectification. And so, instead of trying to escape (to master?) the awful choice between justice OR freedom, I am led towards the openness of ‘what follows?’.
TidsskriftPolicy Futures in Education
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)452-465
Antal sider14
StatusUdgivet - 2016
Udgivet eksterntJa


  • Democracy
  • Gaeltacht
  • Gert Biesta
  • Irish
  • Jacques Rancière
  • politics of belonging
  • subjectification

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