Civil Society and Citizenship: Keys for their Understanding and Fortification
Álvarez Rojas, Ana María
Sánchez Stürmer, Daniela
Contreras Duarte, Ana María
For a year and a half, the Department of Social Work has been doing a research entitled: "Civil Society And Citizenship: Keys For Their Understanding And Fortification". This investigation deals with the problem of the weakness of the Chilean civil society, as a significant point of reference for the construction of a nation's project that has as an aim the social and political democracy (equality of opportunities and ample and systematic participation of the decision-making). A civil society that has undertaken a way for its fortification, is, according to Adela Cortina, a pluralist society where the citizens share minimums to construct a common basis. The issue of the minimums has become, in the last years, a central axis of the ethic/political debates around justice. These minimums would refer to aspirations and values that, configured as normative conditions are likely to universalize. These conditions, although anchors in the autonomous dimension of the subject, lock up ideals of collective justice that would appeal to an independent will to let themselves be oriented as to what "all could want". As research questions arose, then the following ones, which are in Chile these minimums? on what rights and values they are based? who defines them and how they defend them? what is required for their application with the perspective to construct a civil ethics? Do we have the basic condition to be a pluralistic society that makes possible and legitimizes the existence and expression of different maximums, in order to construct, on those principles, an ethics of minimums that is not a product of the imposition of a hegemonic perspective? how can social work contribute to these processes? As a final goal and objectives of the investigation we set out to contribute to the explanation of the foundations that diverse social actors- between which we chose representatives of the different social sectors (state, market, civil society)- establish as justification of their actions in relation to situations of public interest with presence in the public agenda and mass media. These situations of public interest would allow us to identify the way in which the actors locate and sustain their positions, formulate their objectives, defend their interests and elaborate action strategies to reach them. At the same time, we would observe the citizens' answer before them, their beliefs, strengths and weaknesses in a concrete situation. Thus, offering us a space for the manifestation of positions and expressions of rights and values. In this article, we have presented the controversy and discussion about the axis of the investigation, hoping to unveil the main findings and conclusions of the study in a further publication.