Crafting Civic and Civil Selves: Youth and Democratic Education in Southeast Spain

Project Details


Despite ongoing European Union initiatives to promote a united, civically active citizenry, little is known about how such measures play out among those they might influence. This dissertation argues that democratic education classes in southeast Spain constitute culturally normative experiences that complicate, rather than address, social inequalities for diverse youth—particularly Moroccans. Since democratic citizenship education has been advanced from the highest levels to counteract democratic deficit, it is important to understand what happens in classrooms where 'unity in diversity' is to be instilled. Twelve months of ethnographic research included participant observation, classroom audio recordings, and interviews at three high schools in the municipality of El Ejido. Analysis (a) shows how competing discourses on a life well lived shaped classroom discussions; (b) examines whether democratic education promoted student empowerment and involvement at school; and (c) brings ethnographic detail to democratic education research, which has focused on philosophy, curriculum development, and controlled assessments of language use and attitude change.
Effective start/end date1/01/13 → …


  • National Academy of Education


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