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Acknowledging ambivalence in a multicultural neighbourhood: in search of an educational space in narrative practices

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In this article, we focus on narrative practices in adult education in Flanders (the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium), and reflect on a current project in a multicultural neighbourhood that is socially and economically marked by poverty and where turbulence and conflict are rife amongst local inhabitants. While adult education aims to energize the process of learning to live together in this urban context by making sense of individual narratives of local inhabitants, there is a lack of insight into the actual dynamics that are stimulated. We explore how narrative practices can open up and shape an educational space in which citizens can express their ambivalence about living together in diversity and plurality. Inspired by Paulo Freire, we argue that these narrative practices can create possibilities for the reinvention and re-imagination of a democratic society.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Social Welfare Studies,Ghent University, Belgium 2: Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning and Participation, Louvain University, Belgium

Publication date: February 1, 2012

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