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Civics Beyond CriticsCharacter Education in a Liberal Democracy$
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Ian MacMullen

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198733614

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198733614.001.0001

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Sources of civic motivation

Sources of civic motivation

(p.109) Chapter 4 Sources of civic motivation
Civics Beyond Critics

Ian MacMullen

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that there are several distinct ways in which education could foster civic motivation. Section 4.1 reviews some of the putative moral reasons for civic action that children could be taught to perceive, and it addresses attendant concerns about instilling false moral beliefs. Section 4.2 explores the nature and origins of habits of and tastes for civic action. Sections 4.3, 4.4 and 4.5 analyze the two remaining sources of civic motivation—patriotic love and civic identification—and argue that they are not only conceptually distinct but also realistically capable of existing without one another. Most importantly for the author’s purposes (in Chapter 5), it is argued that one can identify with a polity without loving it. Section 4.6 sketches an approach to civic education that promises to foster civic identification without unduly arousing patriotic love.

Keywords:   civic motivation, habits, patriotism, patriotic, love, civic identification

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