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(Mis)arguing Diversity

The Weakness of Diversity as a Civic Argument (and How to Make It Stronger)

Jose Marichal

In this article, I use Boltanski and Thévenot's (2006) work on “logics of justification” to make the case that diversity, defined broadly as engagement with otherness, has limited worth as a “civic argument” in the United States. I argue that “diversity talk” has not been effective in civic spheres because it does not challenge the underlying pluralist architecture of the US political system. Instead, diversity in the civic sphere is regarded as producing conflict or an apolitical “improvement in manners” (Rorty 1999) rather than as a mechanism for citizenship development. This diminishes the ability for diversity to enhance democratic citizenship by fostering the development of a type of civic wisdom necessary for effective decision making in a democratic society.

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Ron Tamborini, René Weber, Nicholas David Bowman, Allison Eden, and Paul Skalski

Historically, debates over media violence have been a central focus of media research. Yet lacking from these debates is a meaningful discussion about the conceptualization of media violence. We argue that violence is not a monolithic construct, and is based on viewer perceptions of specific types of images and framing in media content. This idea has scholarly precedence: In 2002 and 2003, Potter and his colleagues proposed that perceptions of violence are formed as audience members make assessments about the relative levels of (in order) graphicness, realism, and justification for witnessed, on-screen violent actions. This article furthers this tri-partite conceptualization by using a binary-choice conjoint analysis to determine the role of each attribute in guiding audience perceptions of and preference for violent media in film and video games. For both media types, justification was the most central factor in shaping perceptions of violence, but realism was the most important predictor for the preference of violence.

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African and Afrikaner 'ways of knowing'

Truth and the problems of superstition and 'blood knowledge'

Kai Horsthemke

The approbation, in the last few decades, of 'African ways of knowing' and, more recently, the critical emphasis on 'knowledge in the blood'—which refers to 'deeply entrenched' and 'received knowledge', notably of (white) Afrikaners—give rise to all kinds of questions and concerns. What makes certain ways of knowing and kinds of knowledge 'African' and 'Afrikaner', respectively? What do these ideas cover and include, and what falls outside their respective ambits? What functions are served by appealing to these notions? Amongst other things, the idea of 'African ways of knowing' constitutes part of a challenge to occidental belief systems, science, education and ethics. Theorists who single out certain ways of knowing as distinctly and uniquely 'African' or characteristically 'Afrikaner', respectively, not only emphasise their significance in post-colonialist and antiracist discourse but also maintain that the study of these is of profound relevance to educational and socio-political transformation. In this paper, I examine the notions in question, by seeking to understand how those who employ them might see them as plausible, before referring them to a particular epistemological framework. Problems that need to be addressed include relativism about knowledge and truth, as well as elevation of all kinds of beliefs—notably superstitions and racial prejudices—to the status of knowledge, for any real and sustainable transformation to occur.

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Matthew C. Eshleman and Ronald E. Santoni

Can violence ever be justified or is violence necessarily oppressive? Is self-defensive counter-violence or “revolutionary violence” aimed at human liberation, which Sartre defended, necessarily in bad faith? These questions form the crux of the debate between Matt Eshleman and Ronald Santoni. Is violence by nature Manichean, making the Other into an “object” and evil antagonist, and thus dehumanizing and oppressing the Other? Or can violence be liberatory when it is directed at oppressors? Both authors—but especially Eshleman, and Santoni reluctantly—agree that some forms of violence (such as self-defense) do not involve bad faith, but disagree about whether or when revolutionary violence can be justified.

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Social Protest and Its Discontents

A System Justification Perspective

Vivienne Badaan, John T. Jost, Danny Osborne, Chris G. Sibley, Joaquín Ungaretti, Edgardo Etchezahar, and Erin P. Hennes

than fundamentally illegitimate. System justification theory, which was proposed by John Jost and Mahzarin Banaji ( 1994 ), drew heavily upon just world theory (as well as a number of other social-scientific perspectives, including cognitive

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A Negative Theory of Justice

Towards a Critical Theory of Power Relations

Leonard Mazzone

critique of their justifications. Before comparing this theoretical perspective and Axel Honneth's theory of recognition, Nancy Fraser's three-dimensional conception of justice, and the critique of power relations recently advanced by Rainer Forst, however

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Invoking a World of Ideas

Theory and Interpretation in the Justification of Colonialism

David Boucher

The Methodological Justification The theoretical basis of the exercise undertaken in this article derives its efficacy from philosophical idealism, and the Pragmatism of John Dewey, who was himself influenced by idealism ( Dewey 1938 , 1941

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Patti Tamara Lenard and Laura Madokoro

actors demonstrate resistance, against what and whom, and the ways sanctuary impacts all participants, providers, and recipients alike ( Coutin 1993 ). This section outlines the four main justifications offered by sanctuary actors and their defenders in

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Hunting for Justice

An Indigenous Critique of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation

Lauren Eichler and David Baumeister

justifications to remove Indigenous peoples and take their land, as well as to erase the violent force used to depopulate these lands of their original inhabitants ( Dunbar-Ortiz 2014 ). From the perspective of the NAM, the US and Canadian governments are

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The Deliberative Potential of Facultative Referendums

Procedure and Substance in Direct Democracy

Alice el-Wakil

“reason to accept” (412–413). By assuming that the interests of all are of equal weight—and thus that all can be given equal consideration in a majoritarian procedure and should accept the outcome it produces with no further justification (see also