This chapter discusses the movement of struggle and articulation by students in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, against the process of the ‘reorganization’ of the public teaching structure—a euphemism used by the state administration for the closure of school units in compliance with the neoliberal agenda of cutting investments in education—between the months of September, 2015 and June, 2016. The #OcupaEscola (#OccupySchool) movement will be analyzed from a multidisciplinary perspective, working in the fields of cultural studies and media and digital culture, thereby highlighting the work of authors such as Malini and Antoun (2013), Castells (2012), and Freire (1959), among others. The students, under intense police repression, were able to shed light through alternative media on their demands, which in turn influenced the mainstream media coverage that had been giving support to the official state administration narrative—causing the problem to become a national issue. The action led to the occupation of schools in several cities and the implementation of self-management through the disclosure of information on defense tactics in the face of police abuse and the sharing of audiovisual material recording the arbitrariness of such abuses via mobile communication devices. Crucially, the popularization of #OcupaEscola on social media was one of way to engage different social segments.
A Man Comes from Someplace: Stories, History, Memory from a Lost Time is a cultural study of a multi-generational Jewish family from a
shtetl in southwestern Ukraine before World War I to their international lives in the 21st century. The narrative, told from multiple perspectives, becomes a transformative space for re-presenting family stories as cultural performance. The study draws from many sources: ethnographic interviews with an oral storyteller (the author’s father), family letters, papers from immigration and relief organizations of the 1920s, eyewitness reports, newspaper clippings, photographs, maps, genealogy, and cultural, historical, and literary research.
The book investigates the ways family stories can be collected, interpreted, and re-presented to situate story in history and to re-envision connections between the past, present, and future. Family stories become memory sites for interrogating questions of loss and displacement, exile, immigration, survival, resilience, and identity. Stories function as antidotes to trauma, a means of making sense of the world. Memory is an act of resistance, the refusal to be silenced or erased, the insistence that we know the past and remember those who came before.
Returning seven years later to their original pieces from this landmark book, over 20 leading scholars and activists revisit and reframe their rich contributions to a burgeoning scholarship on Whiteness. With new reflective writings for each chapter, and valuable sections on relevant readings and resources, this volume refreshes and enhances the first text to pay critical and sustained attention to Whiteness in education, with implications far beyond national borders. Contributors include George Sefa Dei, Tracey Lindberg, Carl James, Cynthia Levine-Rasky, and the late Patrick Solomon. Courageously examining diverse perspectives, contexts, and institutional practices, contributors to this volume dismantle the underpinnings of inequitable power relations, privilege, and marginalization. The book’s relevance extends to those in a range of settings, with abundant and poignant lessons for enhancing and understanding transformative social justice work in education.
Cover image courtesy of Wim Van Passel (Wim Van Passel)
“Seeing with poetic eyes” is a phrase used by a teacher to describe one of his students, a teenager who could recognize the disconnect between U. S. society’s claims about racial equity and its actual commitment towards that equity. As a teacher, he saw it as his mission to help all of his students see the world in such a critical way with that hope that they would be motivated to pursue antiracism more actively in their lives. In this book, I discuss how critical race theory (CRT) can motivate research on race in sociology of education in a similar way. Specifically, I describe how CRT helped me work with seven white teachers on developing more critical understandings of race. In my ethnographic interviews with these teachers, the analytical tools of CRT gave me a way to openly dialogue with them about issues of race in education. I was able to not only learn from the teachers but also work with them on developing racial awareness. Instead of relying on more liberal forms of sociological research—where the researcher extracts data from participants—CRT helped me promote a more critical approach, one where the researcher and participants work together to actively pursue antiracism in the research act itself. So “seeing with poetic eyes” refers the way that I have come to view research as a means of antiracism. Similarly, I propose that CRT can promote such a critical approach to research on race in the field of sociology of education.