Abstract

Civil society has captured the imagination of many adult educators and has become a central focus of both local and international development work. Volunteerism has come to be seen as a source of democratic learning and this emphasis calls adult educators to deeply interrogate its contours. This paper reports on an American volunteerism program organized to recruit young people into participation in civil society and examines the relationship between learning about citizenship or democracy and understanding social inequality, or ‘social problems’.

Keywords

civil society, diversity, social inequality

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Jun 10th, 1:00 PM

Learning Democracy and ‘Difference’ in Civil Society

Civil society has captured the imagination of many adult educators and has become a central focus of both local and international development work. Volunteerism has come to be seen as a source of democratic learning and this emphasis calls adult educators to deeply interrogate its contours. This paper reports on an American volunteerism program organized to recruit young people into participation in civil society and examines the relationship between learning about citizenship or democracy and understanding social inequality, or ‘social problems’.