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Learning democracy in a Swedish gamers’ association: Representative democracy as experiential knowledge in a liquid civil society
Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, Department of Culture Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2011 (English)In: European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults, ISSN 2000-7426, Vol. 2, no 2, 135-149 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To explore the role of civil society organizations in learning democracy this article combines the concept of democracy as ‘phronēsis’ with neo-institutional theory, as well as with Hannah Pitkin’s concepts of representation. It presents a case study (based on qualitative research) of how democracy is learned in SVEROK, a Swedish youth organization focusing on activities such as computer and role-playing games, activities often associated with informal organization. In SVEROK they are organized in an organization sharing many features with established Swedish organizations, including hierarchic formal representative democracy. The norm in SVEROK is a pragmatic organizational knowledge focusing on substantive and formal representation. Organized education plays only a limited role. Learning is typically informal and experience-based. An organization similar to earlier national organizations is created by self-organized and self-governing associations in government-supported cooperation. The case study supports Theda Skocpol’s argument that organizational structure is vital to democratic learning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 2, no 2, 135-149 p.
Keyword [en]
phronesis; Sweden; civil society; democracy; learning
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-71371DOI: 10.3384/rela.2000-7426.rela0042OAI: diva2:448005
Demokratiska lärprocesser i folkbildande organisationer
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2011-10-13 Created: 2011-10-13 Last updated: 2011-11-10

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Harding, Tobias
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