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Good practice project Germany

The respect project consists of two sub-projects:
respect – anti-racist and Gender reflected work against Violence and exclusion (2003 – 2006) and respect – come together (2007).  The target group are 14 to 17 year old school students from schools which are located in socially disadvantaged districts of Bremen.

The thematic starting point of the respect project is the critique on patriarchal and racist structures in society. Individual actions and social conditions are interwoven with each other. The reflection of social structures, with a special focus on subjectivity, which is relevant for the concrete experience of the youths, should lead to productive irritations in relation to ethnicising, gender and heterocentrism, but also concerning not norm-compliant life concepts, for example, productive irritations could happen when it is asked for how long (until what generation) we want to use the term “Migration background”, when the experiences of people who do not regard themselves as female or male gender are emphasised, or when homosexual families are treated as a matter of course by the team.
The general topics are experiences of discrimination (as victim as well as perpetrator), everyday racism and sexism, violent conflicts and non-violent solutions.
respect works with trans-cultural teams (migrant background and German majority background, heterosexuals and homosexuals, female and male members).

Violence is described as an everyday life experience of the youths. Respect focuses especially on everyday violence and experiences of racist discrimination. The respect team works with a conceptualisation of violence in which everyday violence is embedded in a structural understanding of violence like racism, patriarchy and capitalism. The students get in touch with structural conditions in their environment, and they reflect on their own behaviour and how they are an active part of everyday violence, for example in school. Besides the rational understanding of power relations and structural violence conditions the participants focus on individual responsibility and the development of action opportunities for non-violent behaviour, with “respect”.
In the concept are different strategies to decrease the power relations:
respect works on a practical critique on the dichotomies of, for example, masculinity and femininity or between German/European culture and the non-German/non-European culture.
respect has a concept of empowerment for non-dominant groups. After analysing the structure of dominance the non-dominant groups/or persons can be empowered/can empower themselves. Minority groups are encouraged to speak about their experiences and they are encouraged to reclaim their rights.
respect focuses on multiple perspectives: diverse exercises train to adopt different social positions and to develop one’s own opinion concerning social dominance structures.

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