Democratic Education and Gratitude

  • Nuraan DavidsEmail author
  • Yusef Waghid


In this chapter, we give an account of gratitude in relation to education. By highlighting the vagueness of the concept of gratitude, we question whether it might be plausible to consider gratitude as a moral obligation, a social convention or a political obligation in relation to the state. By leaning on Derrida’s conception of friendship, we argue that gratitude cannot be gratitude, if it is not extended spontaneously and without any obligation. Gratitude, therefore is unconditional, and as such does not imply any reciprocity. Such an idea of gratitude impacts democratic education in a way whereby people engage with one another without the condition of relation.


Gratitude Moral obligation Political obligation Reciprocity Unconditionality 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Education Policy StudiesStellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationStellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa

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