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postgraduate thesis: Intercultural education for the freedom from socio-political terror

TitleIntercultural education for the freedom from socio-political terror
Authors
Issue Date2012
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
AbstractPost-9/11, terrorism is an increasingly common spectacle. Daily, its news has become embedded into the fabric of contemporary life. But as wars fighting terrorism fail to cease the reproduction of such extraordinary violence, what role should education play to expand the freedom from terror? Mired in a perpetual terrorist dialectic, how should citizens of an interdependent world be cultivated? Particularly novel is the emergence of a pedagogical discourse that holds education as both a cause of and cure for terrorism. Presupposing poverty a main source of discontent and schooling a crucial vehicle to social mobility, governments increasingly employ education to ‘counter’ terrorism. Growing numbers of terrorists are being ‘re-educated’ for de-radicalization and social reintegration. Few studies have focused on the interrelations between education and terrorism; of those that have, the deeper theoretical questions have gone largely unasked. Problematizing the dominant discourses of terrorism and the use of education to combat the hearts and minds of terrorists, this thesis seeks to ground the pedagogical expansion of the freedom from terror on a more robust conceptual framework. With the aim to reexamine the interrelationship between terrorism and education, and conceptualize how the latter expands the freedom from the former, the methodology is interdisciplinary and ultimately philosophical. Each approach to understanding terrorism, from political economy to history to sociology, is briefly adopted before being undermined by the next. Through such a Socratic method, each discourse is betrayed by the exposition of internal contradictions and conceptual inadequacies. Because the scientific method fails to address questions concerning what terrorism is, who terrorists are, why the freedom from terror is justifiable, and how education can expand such freedom, the use of philosophical critique and reasoning is essential to conceptualizing pedagogical answers to the problem of terror. Paradoxical and insufficient, conventional discourses of terrorism and counterterrorism fail to address the fundamental problem in such misrecognitions and miscommunications. Found crucial to the perpetuation of the cycle of terror are the monological formulations of absolute moral principles and the sociological reproduction of fundamentalist attitudes and behaviors. Such a conceptual framework implicates the recognition of terror in human interactions ranging from the social to the political. To transform such terroristic dispositions requires meaningful interchange between those with different mentalities and practices. Through sharing narratives and not only criticism, interlocutors can enhance their epistemological and moral capabilities to imagine and pursue different beings and doings. Thus, fostering intercultural dialogue and building interdependency are essential to cultivating the freedom from terror through pedagogical means. From studies on ‘homeland security’ to ‘re-education’ programs for captured ‘enemy combatants’, the governmental deployment of education to counter terrorism warrants more thought and research. Reinterpreting the discourse of terrorism provides a substantively new framework for educational research and imperatives, particularly the cultivation of intercultural learning. This thesis provides justification for such an intercultural education, an emancipating process that cultivates visions of a different world, one free of terror.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectMulticultural education.
Terrorism - Study and teaching.
Dept/ProgramEducation

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorWang, Hui-yu, Terence.-
dc.contributor.author王曉宇.-
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.description.abstractPost-9/11, terrorism is an increasingly common spectacle. Daily, its news has become embedded into the fabric of contemporary life. But as wars fighting terrorism fail to cease the reproduction of such extraordinary violence, what role should education play to expand the freedom from terror? Mired in a perpetual terrorist dialectic, how should citizens of an interdependent world be cultivated? Particularly novel is the emergence of a pedagogical discourse that holds education as both a cause of and cure for terrorism. Presupposing poverty a main source of discontent and schooling a crucial vehicle to social mobility, governments increasingly employ education to ‘counter’ terrorism. Growing numbers of terrorists are being ‘re-educated’ for de-radicalization and social reintegration. Few studies have focused on the interrelations between education and terrorism; of those that have, the deeper theoretical questions have gone largely unasked. Problematizing the dominant discourses of terrorism and the use of education to combat the hearts and minds of terrorists, this thesis seeks to ground the pedagogical expansion of the freedom from terror on a more robust conceptual framework. With the aim to reexamine the interrelationship between terrorism and education, and conceptualize how the latter expands the freedom from the former, the methodology is interdisciplinary and ultimately philosophical. Each approach to understanding terrorism, from political economy to history to sociology, is briefly adopted before being undermined by the next. Through such a Socratic method, each discourse is betrayed by the exposition of internal contradictions and conceptual inadequacies. Because the scientific method fails to address questions concerning what terrorism is, who terrorists are, why the freedom from terror is justifiable, and how education can expand such freedom, the use of philosophical critique and reasoning is essential to conceptualizing pedagogical answers to the problem of terror. Paradoxical and insufficient, conventional discourses of terrorism and counterterrorism fail to address the fundamental problem in such misrecognitions and miscommunications. Found crucial to the perpetuation of the cycle of terror are the monological formulations of absolute moral principles and the sociological reproduction of fundamentalist attitudes and behaviors. Such a conceptual framework implicates the recognition of terror in human interactions ranging from the social to the political. To transform such terroristic dispositions requires meaningful interchange between those with different mentalities and practices. Through sharing narratives and not only criticism, interlocutors can enhance their epistemological and moral capabilities to imagine and pursue different beings and doings. Thus, fostering intercultural dialogue and building interdependency are essential to cultivating the freedom from terror through pedagogical means. From studies on ‘homeland security’ to ‘re-education’ programs for captured ‘enemy combatants’, the governmental deployment of education to counter terrorism warrants more thought and research. Reinterpreting the discourse of terrorism provides a substantively new framework for educational research and imperatives, particularly the cultivation of intercultural learning. This thesis provides justification for such an intercultural education, an emancipating process that cultivates visions of a different world, one free of terror.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B48329939-
dc.subject.lcshMulticultural education.-
dc.subject.lcshTerrorism - Study and teaching.-
dc.titleIntercultural education for the freedom from socio-political terror-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb4832993-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b4832993-
dc.date.hkucongregation2012-

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