Critical Information Literacy, Civic Education, Civics, Information Literacy, Democratic Theory

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Research Article


Given the increasing power and prominence of political figures in the United States who openly espouse xenophobic, misogynistic, white nationalist positions it is only natural to anticipate encountering students who express these views in our libraries and classrooms. In this essay I use the methods of normative political theory to explore the following question: What are a set of consistent philosophical positions that Critical Information Literacy (CIL) could take that would allow it to respond to intolerance in a way that furthers its stated goals? CIL can draw upon the large body of literature on civic education in the United States that emphasizes using educational institutions to teach foundational knowledge about the American political system and in cultivating a civic disposition that tolerates a multiplicity of perspectives. This essay then explores the role that agonism—to use a concept developed by the political theorist Chantal Mouffe—plays in political life.



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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.