Panel C.06 — Social (in)equalities, democracy and education

Convenors Silvia Cervia (University of Pisa); Lorenzo Viviani (University of Pisa)

Keywords Inequalities, education, democracy, subjectivities


The relationship between education and democracy has returned, with the new millennium, to constitute a central axis of both political action and social sciences analysis. The falling of political engagement, the joint rise of socio-political distrust and of forces skeptical of democracy have fuelled social scientists debate among those who seeking these patterns as rooted in cultural backlash (Norris and Inglehart, 2019), or in changing education cleavages (Gethin, Martìnez-Toledano, and Piketty, 2021) and those who look at education as commons to reverse contemporary neoliberal processes (Pechtelidis and Kioupkiolis 2020).

We believe that this debate would be powerfully enriched by considering that contemporary democracies are facing a substantial challenge that concerns the process of growing emphasis on the singular and the unique in the late-advanced modernity (Reckwitz 2020).

In late modernity, what is singular is valorized and stirs the emotions, while what is general has to remain in the background, and this has profound social consequences. The society of singularities systematically produces devaluation and inequalities, winner-takes-all markets, job polarization, the neglect of rural regions and the alienation of the traditional middle class. The emergence of populism and the rise of aggressive forms of nationalism which emphasize the cultural authenticity of one’s own people thus turn out to be the other side of singularization.

The session calls for abstracts that, with different approaches and methods, look at the singularities as socially and culturally fabricated with particular regards to formal education agencies.


Guidelines and abstracts submission