The Danish youth has, in recent years, performed well in comparative international studies regarding democratic knowledge and skills. But when it comes to aspects such as valuing influence and taking an active part in the democracy the results in the studies are less impressive. The purpose of this thesis is to examine this discrepancy and understand the complex relationship between democratic knowledge and action through focus group interviews with high school students. The thesis concludes that the interviewed students are in fact interested and invested in the democratic society, but that they have a hard time figuring out how to put this into action. The thesis also finds that the schools play a vital role in the way the young people understand and engage with democracy. Finally, the thesis concludes that the most dominant democratic understanding of the students is of a liberal representative nature which corresponds with, but also limits their perceptions of possible ways of ‘doing democracy’.
The theoretical framework for the thesis takes its departure in Critical Theory’s conception of democracy and education while further evolving this with the use of professor in education, Gert Biesta’s, understanding of democratic educations purpose. His theory is characterized by the three domains: qualification, socialization, and subjectification. The domains also function as the framework for the analyses, which aims for a broader conception of the young interviewees complex understandings of democracy, democratic participation, and responsibility.
Expanding upon the teachings of professor in education and pedagogy, Thomas Ziehe, and sociologist, Ulrich Beck, the thesis attempts to understand democracy in the context of the ‘second modernity’ and especially focuses on the challenges democracy faces with the increasing individualization. Although the empirical findings do not correspond as much with the Beck and Ziehes thoughts regarding the effects of individualization as expected, they do shed light on certain understandings that are key factors in the specific conditions that factor into young people’s ways of understanding and engaging with democracy.
|Uddannelser||Pædagogik og Uddannelsesstudier, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat|
- demokratisk deltagelse
- kritisk teori
- demokratisk uddannelse