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

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

Award Year



University of Arizona

Primary Discipline

This study examines daily spoken interactions among diverse students and their teachers in democratic education classes in southeast Spain to learn how social inequality affects lessons on civic involvement and civil communication. This research lends ethnographic depth to a topic that is usually addressed theoretically. Twelve months of ethnographic research included participant observation, classroom audio recordings, and interviews at three high schools in the municipality of El Ejido. Analysis of classroom dialogue shows how democratic interaction is both operationalized and stymied through recourse to talk about 'universal' values (freedom, tolerance, gender equality) that Moroccan Muslim students are presumed to lack. Findings will contribute to understandings of democratic education as a world-wide phenomenon with specific, local applications. Improvements will follow from educational tools that substantively include students' own diversity in lessons on progressive democracy.
About Maisa Taha

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