Alfabetizzazione interculturale e decolonizzazione della “democrazia inclusiva”


Literacy has been, and still is, a very relevant political tool in the process of nation-building, as well as for the education of the “democratic citizen”. However, since the 1980s it has been complexified by considering the role that not only (verbal) language, but the whole of “culture” plays for its achievement. In time, a number of more specific notions such as “cultural literacy”, “critical literacy”, and so on, have been developed with the aim of  making “literacy” a viable tool to allow for more and further “inclusion”, by means of “eradicating illiteracy” all over the world. In this context, I try to show that in order to reach that goal, very improbable if not impossible to achieve, it would be worthwhile taking into  proper account the multicultural composition of contemporary complex societies. Therefore, I firstly give a brief overview of literacy’s development, and secondly, I discuss the notions of multicultural and intercultural literacy. My overall aim, however, is to show that the discourse linking the idea of a more and more inclusive democracy to the notion(s) of literacy has not yet focused on its own culturally biased origins. To argue this point, I briefly refer to decolonial thinking, understood as a theoretical approach that implies the need, and indeed the urgency, to renegotiate also the speaking, the writing and the teaching practices and theories, still modeled according to the culturally biased presuppositions originated from the so-called “western modernity” and particularly from its way of thinking and shaping “knowledge” – that is to say “modern science”. My conclusion is that the absence of such a decolonizing renegotiation implies an inability to come to terms with the limits and exclusions that western-style democracy opposes to the very possibility of building truly interculturally shaped political communities.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v41p67

Keywords: literacy; inclusive democracy; critical literacy; cultural, multicultural and intercultural literacy; decolonial thinking


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