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  • razada7

Becoming bridge citizens: Educating for social justice in conflict-affected settings

Updated: Mar 30

My latest article -- co-authored with Stella Mi-Cheong Cheong and Kamille Beye -- is out now on the Education, Citizenship and Social Justice website. Both Stella and Kamille are sociologists whose work were in conflict-affected areas, but in two settings that people don't typically group together: Korean peninsula and Liberia. Through the many months of meeting and talking about our collective work, we all learned so much from each other, and from each other's settings.

Sadly, the world feels more conflict-affected today than it was when we started working on this collective project. Blessed, then, are the peacemakers, and may the world see more work being done that builds lasting and just peace.

Here is the abstract:

This study draws on empirical data to fine-tune the theoretical concept, ‘bridging civic identity’, which we propose as an educational aim in conflict-affected settings. We analyse interview data from Liberian respondents and North Korean migrants living in South Korea, using a conceptual framework based on the notions of ‘bridge citizens’ and agency. The analysis reveals the following: (1) that a high sense of agency is related to resourcefulness and fortitude, (2) that identifying oneself as a ‘bridge citizen’ is connected to recognising others as such, and (3) that concrete, large-scale aspirations of social justice for the larger community – and therefore ‘imaginativeness’ – are central components of a bridging civic identity. The findings suggest that learners in similar settings ought to be trained in resourcefulness and fortitude, be shown the collective nature of working towards shared goals, and be given encouragement to visualise the just future they desire for their community or nation.

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