Upcoming event: ‘Thinking Solidarities in a Global World of Difference: The Role of Learning’

A Joint Seminar between the Centre for Lifelong Learning, University of Liverpool and Cultural Difference and Social Solidarity: an International Network (CDSS) (www.diffferenceandsolidarity.org)

Thursday 7 March 2013


Professor Larry Wilde, University of Nottingham  – Educating For Solidarity

(Larry’s latest book, Global  Solidarity, is published by Edinburgh University Press in January 2012)

Dr Scott Boyd, METU (Northern Cyprus) – Social Entrepreneurship of MOOCs: Quick, Effective, Empowerment is Free if You Pay Our Price

Dr John McSweeney, Ireland – Parrhesia and Solidarity: Rethinking the Politics of Difference with the Final Foucault

Burcu Senturk University of York, UK Learning Through  Collective Struggle

Dr Mark O”Brien, University of Liverpool, UK – Alienation, cathexis and the ‘crisis of interiorisation’. What is ‘the university’ for?’

Paul Reynolds, Edge Hill University UK – Moral Pedagogy and Professional Practice: Solidarity, Ethics and Politics in Practice

In a  global world of difference the balance between representing difference and celebrating (or at least tolerating) difference whilst maintaining solidarity has become a significant common problem for democratic societies across the globe. Central to this balance of solidarity and difference is the role of learning and the view that learning facilitates mutual understandings and communication, and so the basis for new solidarities, between different identities and interests in contemporary societies. These solidarities offer the promise of coherence within societies that is not hierarchical, predicated on dominance and hegemony and constituted on forms of exclusion, marginalisation and prejudicial oppression. Yet whether immigration and labour freedom of movement in Europe, faith communities and conflicting positions on equality and rights or resource redistribution on the basis of politics of recognition, difference remains a significant source of problems for democratic societies. Can learning play a significant part in crafting a balance of solidarity and respect for difference?  Many democratic societies have held underlying liberal assumptions that the educated and informed are more likely to be tolerant and predisposed to values of equality, rights and justice, and that education and learning is a significant avenue for social engineering. Is this aspiration realised or indeed realisable, and if so in what way? Has the global neo-liberal political economy agenda and its ‘rolling out’ into education in the last 30 years meant we should change that aspiration. This workshop, organised by the Centre for Lifelong Learning at University of Liverpool and the international network Cultural Difference and Social Solidarity, is designed to approach those broad issues critically and stimulate thinking on what learning can achieve to avoid division, intolerance and critical social inbalance where solidarity and difference are juxtaposed. To book your place (from within the University of Liverpool) go to: http://www.liv.ac.uk/cllserver/booking_2012/make_booking.asp?c_id=9763&d_id=14363 To book from outside the University of Liverpool email: mtobrien@liv.ac.uk For more information on the programme, download the Full Programme and Abstracts PDF.