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Russians want change, even without embracing dissident Navalny

Russians want change, even without embracing dissident Navalny

Russians are keen for change but are not necessarily pinning their hopes on dissident Alexei Navalny as an alternative to Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin, Moscow, Russia, 23 January 2013 (EPA/SERGEI ILNITSKY) Tens of thousands of Russians have taken to the streets in...

Harried journalists often depict complex situations in black and white, and the temptation is especially strong when one is on a bandwagon with reporters convinced of a single narrative. Alexei Navalny has captured the imagination of the West and for many embodies the future of democracy in Russia as an alter-ego to Vladimir Putin. Sarah Lindemann-Komarova has lived in Siberia for 28 years and brings a more nuanced perspective to the story. Little wonder that her article, which notes the skepticism with which many Russians view the Kremlin critic, quickly attracted comments from readers following Navalny’s saga. Ask your students who their political heroes are and why. And who does not like them — and why.

In polarized times, we need to listen even to hateful views

In polarized times, we need to listen even to hateful views

Playing in a rock band helped me see that in these polarized times, we need to listen to hateful views to heal divisions and save democracy. Black Lives Matter protesters brawl with supporters of then U.S. President Donald Trump, Huntington Beach, California, 6 June...

It’s a common lament that we live in polarized times. Echo chambers, confirmation bias, troll factories — these are terms we’re all too familiar with now because they identify a problem that is besetting politics and democracy. Vicki Flier Hudson tackles the issue head-on, but unlike so many writers, she takes off the ideological blinders to offer a lesson in empathy — replete with mention of her rock band. She offers techniques at the end of her article that all of us can use. Teachers can ask students to identify an abhorrent point of view and explain why someone could possibly hold that perspective.

South Korea offers lessons for U.S. social movements

South Korea offers lessons for U.S. social movements

A pro-democracy movement in South Korea offers lessons to two U.S. social movements — against police brutality and for a defeated ex-president. Black Lives Matter protesters hold their phones aloft in Portland, Oregon, 20 July 2020. (AP Photo/Noah Berger) This story...

Sociologists are the first to admit they are apt to speak their own tongue, so reporting on sociological research can tie even experienced reporters in knots. And high school students are not always interested in events of half a century ago. So it’s a rare pleasure when a student connects a pro-democracy movement in South Korea during the 1960s and ‘70s with social movements in the United States today, and renders sociology understandable to the untrained ear in the process. Christina MacCorkle of The Thacher School takes academic research about a country far from her school’s California campus and connects it to current events in the U.S., using simple language to convey complex academic arguments. Many students are trained to write academic essays, but MacCorkle enlightens those of us outside of academia.

Tag: democracy