Image of a New Woman. Visualization of Polish social transformations at the beginning of the 1950s and the 1990s.

Natalia Pater
University of Gdańsk

Establishing socialism after Second World War and democracy after 1989 constitute a turning points in the modern Polish history. Social transformations seem to result among others in the attempt to redefine social roles, determined by the adopted ideology shaping a new political system.
Emancipation and equality of women incorporated either in socialist or democratic ideology, although following different patterns were supposed to improve a broadly understood women welfare.
The image of a New Woman from the 1950s and 1990s is commonly known. This popular image is, however, usually limited to verbal discourse created by the needs of political and ideological campaigns. Therefore, it would be worth examining visual representations dating form those periods and compare or contrast them with the verbal texts. Bearing in mind that verbal language plays a role of superior system defining all kinds of social interactions. Whereas visual discourse associated with private sphere and related to entertainment used to employ less formal and bureaucratic forms of communication which makes its transmission more reliable.

Productive Resistance and Deliberative Fictions: Statecraft in the Age of Corporate Globalization

M. Lane Bruner is currently Associate Professor of Critical Political Communication and Graduate Director of the doctoral program in Public Communication at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States. He is the author of Strategies of Remembrance: the Rhetorical Dimensions of National Identity Construction, and Market Democracy in Post-Communist Russia (co-edited with Professor Viatcheslav Morozov of St. Petersburg State University, Russia). Professor Bruner is also the author of over education. Over the last decade, the East-European system of education has experienced through a wide-ranging modernization.

"Resistance is futile," or at least so we are told by the Borg in various Star Trek episodes, by Douglas Adams in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by characters on television shows like Doctor Who and Lost in Space, and on British television series such as Space: 1999. Like the theme of US filmmakers who brought us The Truman Show and The Matrix, which focused on individuals living in world's they thought were real but in fact were fabrications, one wonders why the notion of the futility of resistance has been such a persistent theme in Western science fiction over the last few decades.

It is a well known fact that capitalism absorbs and commodifies dissent, and that consumer culture oftentimes is a direct threat to notions of informed citizenship and public deliberation. It is also well known that a wide range of neo-liberals argue that "market democracy" is the highest form of human political achievement, and that, while resistance may not be futile, it is, at least in "advanced" market democracies, unnecessary. After all, what IS there to resist when one enjoys freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of travel, freedom of assembly, etc?

And what good can be achieved from large scale political resistance? Those familiar with political history know that "revolutions" tend to replace one form of domination with another, as particular factions within a given polity claim to represent the interests of all (when they do not), and that "rebellion" is usually a term relegated to those moments of mass political dissent that are ultimately crushed by the powers that be. In light of such observations, is "resistance" futile? What might "productive resistance" even look like in the New World Order, and, even if forms of productive resistance were possible, how might citizens of the world be taught to engage in such resistance?

The essay I propose for inclusion for the International Conference on Social Transformation is an attempt to explore these questions in light of the global collapse of communism, the consequent global rise of neo-liberalism and religious fundamentalism, and the ongoing processes of "nation-building" around the world. Drawing heavily upon contemporary critical rhetorical theory, discourse theory, and radical democratic theory, and drawing upon contemporary political events in locations as diverse as Venezuala, Russia, Iraq and the United States, I will provide a working definition for "productive" resistance, theoretically complicate such terms as "deliberation," "phronesis," and "democracy," while simultaneously anchoring my prescriptions for progressive political action in the New World Order in concrete economic analyses of the historical relationship between classical republicanism, finance, and empire.

Peripheral normativity: literacy, English, and the persistence of hidden inequality in a South African township

Jan Blommaert
Institute of Education, University of London

This paper reports on research conducted in schools in poor townships in the Cape Town area of South Africa. Despite considerable efforts by the post-Apartheid government in building a more democratic education system, the deep inequalities of the past persist. They articulate themselves at a deeper level, however: that of literacy norms and practices and accents in English. Pupils in the township school are taught in English because of a widespread belief in the upwardly mobile potential of that language. The specific variety of English they learn, however, is a strictly local variety that responds to subordinate social class norms, different from the status norms of English. The same goes for their literacy proficiency: we see ‘hetero-graphic’ norms, rather than ‘ortho-graphic’ ones. These sociolinguistic skills, consequently, do not provide any upward mobility and thus perpetuate existing structural inequality.

Prisons as Educational sites

KARIANE WESTRHEIM is Research Fellow at the Department of Education and Health Promotion, University of Bergen, Norway. Her research interests include critical pedagogy, critical multiculturalism and education in marginal contexts. Her current PhD work focuses on the educational foundation of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

This paper is based on a qualitative study with four informants who have been sentenced to years of imprisonment because of their links to the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party), an armed guerrilla who waged war against Turkey between 1984 and 1999. In the aftermath of the 1980 military coup in Turkey, the Turkish left was prosecuted by the Turkish military. During this wave of mass detentions, 1790 suspected PKK members were captured, substantially more than from any other single Kurdish group1. The imprisoned members the party continued their political work from inside the brick walls. There are still more than 20 000 political prisoners in Turkish prisons. The informants in this study, who were imprisoned at various stages of the struggle, and in various prisons, emphasise the crucial role education and personal transformation played for political prisoners. This article also highlights how education in prison contributed to the overall struggle of the PKK as well as for the struggle of the Kurdish people.

1 McDowell 2000, p. 420

The Roles of Education in the Transformation of Society - The Case of China

He Gan
Jagiellonian University

The functions of education in China varies at different historical stages under different social structural conditions or when society transforms. In ancient China, the scholar class helped in building up a fedual society that stressed on wisdom and lasted over 2000 years. Under Mao’s leadership, education was simply a tool of politics...This study of sociological education will follow the Weberian tradition of comparative macro-analysis of social phenomena and Margaret Archer’s historical and structural comparison of state educational systems, which has been hailed as a landmark to account for characteristics of national education and the processes of change they have undergone, to discuss the roles of education in social transformations in a trend cycle. It will make a historical comparison and analysis of the properties of the structural conditioning of each stage, within which the education behaves and plays its roles, such as what are the development levels of each stage, where and how the social strains developed, whether the institutional relations are harmonious of conflicting…etc. and how they exerted their influences on the role of education; second, how education interprets those situations and what action patterns they adopt as response to them, what changes have been made, and what subsequent roles it played, and how it led to the following changes and third, the relation between them.

A reflection on the development of education in China would give us a deeper understanding and more thorough enlightenment and provide more opportunities for informed, rational life and sound practice in the post-modern age.

Constructing of „us”, constructing of „them”

Łukasz Stankiewicz
University of Gdańsk

In this paper I would like to analyze the emergence of “Solidarity” movement in Poland from the perspective of Ernesto Laclau’s and Chantal Mouffe’s theory of hegemony. I would like to emphasize the process of construction of two opposing camps, namely the “Solidarity” and the communist camp. Creation of “Solidarity” linked many diverse and often contradictory demands and ideologies, but also retroactively, changed the way, in which the history of Poland after the end of the World War is perceived. This change allows us to see all isolated acts and cases of resistance against the communist regime as a manifestation of a single historic force, which, in the end, was able to manifest fully in creation of the “Solidarity” and later, in bringing down the communist regime. Vis-à-vis that force, and at the same time, another historical actor – the communist regime, has been given its ultimate shape. My main thesis is, that the idea of Polish constant opposition towards the communists, as well as the perception of the communist party as an “alien” regime, devoid of any legitimization is an effect of the hegemonic process, which has structurized the political field in the early 80s. Although the link of equivalence, connecting the demands of diverse social groups has vanished with the advent of neoliberal policies of the nineties, this dichotomic split remained, and was in some ways aggravated as a result of a democratic political struggle.

The Lisbon Strategy – chance or threat.

Magdalena Bezmaterny
Monika Dulska
Anna Fiedorowicz
Monika Kołodziejczyk
University of Gdańsk

The aims of The Lisbon Strategy, signed in 23/24 March 2000, are supposed to modify the situation of Europe at the global market and make it capable to compete with the USA successfully. The Strategy influences such areas as European economy, education, employment, environment, transportation, telecommunication and the IT sector significantly. The Strategy is to promote liberal solutions both on national and supranational ground.
The conference speech would be based on the Power/knowledge relation in The Lisbon Strategy project, which the authors did at one of their university courses. There, the analysis concerned on how power shapes discourses in force and vice versa, how legitimate knowledge foster the hegemonic power expansion. We find the issue immensely important especially in terms of its selective potential, which obviously is not stated in the document of the Strategy.
At the conference we would like to demonstrate particular parts of The Lisbon Strategy, those which attracted our attention in terms of their assumed progress-leading role which is not necessarily beneficial for all the social groups of the European Community.
Summarizing, the work is focused on the hidden assumptions of the Lisbon Strategy. The conclusions of our analysis suggest that the project is derivative of the dominant economic discourse which shapes our social reality, hence it reinforces its hegemony. The analysis is based on the power discourse introduced by Michel Foucault.

Kant Out Hobbes In: Return of the Political to School

Marcin Boryczko

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism constitute invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.
Eduard Bernays

The problem I would like to deal with is widely understood, the consent of the governed in the democratic states. What is symptomatic of post-communist countries is the process of constructing people’s consent after the fall of eastern block. With the benefit hindsight the revolutions of 1989 turned out to be the common quenching of the thirst for democracy with the drink from the Lethe, the river of producing forgetfulness. On closer inspection, this process resembles what Pareto defined as the elite circulation. Empire cannot fall.

In my presentation I would like to analyze the problem of legitimization of power in contemporary post-communist states in which, as I believe, political practice seems to indicate the renaissance of the significance of political myth. The functioning of these countries confirms the thesis of the end of the end of politics. The symptom of this phenomenon is doing democracy in terms of consensus instead of participation. It turns out that the solving problems of the state might constitute necessary and sufficient condition for the legitimization of power. The strategy of ruling in this type of power instrumentalization and ‘the ruling for the people’ requires broad consensus, as far as common consent is concerned. In political practice this means that actions of the democratic governments results from the alleged consent of the governed to the current actions of the governments. A consensus can be reached in reality of instrumentalized politics by means of myths which will account for the actions of the governments.

During my presentation an attempt will be made at specifying the role of the school in the process which I have described above. This will be discussed in macrostructural dimension. I would like to pose the problem in a following way: how does the school participate in the process of producing social conditions of constructing consent. In our age the question of reproduction should be extended to the question referring to the distribution of knowledge at school. What makes this distribution possible is the functioning of myth at the school level. These myths, in term, constitute the consent reproduction condition on the ‘democratic’ basis.

Learning to learn in a reflective practitioner's framework

Doina Irina Simion
University Politehnica Bucharest

This contribution is an account of changes at personal and home teaching
situation level (HTS) throughout the span of fifteen years, based on both
questionnaire surveys and naturalistic insights regarding EFLT practice. The history of some incremental changes has been reviewed in some teacher relevant areas such as classroom management practice, teaching skills and the teacher knowledge base. The source of the investigation came within a reflection based self–development project designed to lay the ground for personal teaching epistemology.

The background to the above experiential continuum has been personal and group exposure to the communicative approach in English Language Teaching triggered by participation in the British-Romanian sponsored project entitled PROSPER. One of the main gains of the project was that it had allowed most participants to develop strong self efficacy beliefs based on both mastery experiences and social modelling.

The interpretation framework looks at the role played by Prosperese acquisitions in changing the HTS occupational development approach against such change resistors as conservatism, need of stability, control and certainty. A point is made on whether the HTS approach to management requires–in the face of the Bologna process challenge–a continuation of the same incrementalistic development approach or a switch to deep-going re-engineering.