Modernization, rationalization, and education: responding to the other
SourceSociological Research Online
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As societies forfeit increasingly their homogeneous character and cross-cultural encounters are being multiplied, demands for multicultural and Other- oriented education appear legitimate and convincing. However, to endorse such demands does not suffice on its own, if it is not accompanied by appropriate theoretical shifts in sociological core assumptions. In this article, I propose that one such shift should concern the old coupling of modernization with societal rationalization. By discussing Habermass conception of rationalization, I defend the rejection of the identification of modernization with rational development. I show the benefits of this rejection for multicultural education by highlighting what ethnocentric vices (Martha Nussbaums term) it staves off. I conclude with some suggestions for a sociology of education that is sensitive to otherness.