Confronting Intolerance

Critical, Responsive Literacy Instruction with Adult Immigrants

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Stephen G. Mogge

Confronting Intolerance: Critical, Responsive Literacy Instruction with Adult Immigrants captures the experience of adult immigrants who are improving their English literacy while confronting an intolerant political culture. It examines recent immigration policy and the anti-immigrant fervor that has gripped the United States and describes the perseverance and struggles of immigrant students to pursue their goals through literacy education.
The book offers a powerful and vivid example of critical pedagogy blended with sociocultural perspectives of literacy education in an effort to raise student consciousness and alter the political culture. Confronting Intolerances is an ethnographic, teacher research narrative that describes a year in the life of the author’s classroom with adult Latino immigrants, mostly Mexican, in a Chicago, Illinois (USA) settlement house.
Specific focus is given to immigrant students’ response to reading material that was selected to meet individual ambitions but was also selected to meet the concerns and anxieties that surfaced in response to the intolerant climate. The book describes students’ engagement with narrative and informational reading and displays the students’ evolving perspectives on politics, economics, culture, and race as these relate to Latino immigrants in the United States.
Through extensive classroom dialogue and descriptions of students engaged in political activities, the book explores the students’ emerging sense of what it means to become “American” amidst an immigrant backlash. It takes the reader through a year in a settlement house classroom, and reveals the hopes, dreams, and struggles of immigrants who continue to pursue America’s promises—those realized and those broken.

Critical Literacies in Action

Social Perspectives and Teaching Practices

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Edited by Karyn Cooper and Robert E. White

Critical Literacies in Action: Social Perspectives and Teaching Practices asks how educators can become more experienced in order to truly support literacy, particularly for children of poverty or for those who have been labeled “at-risk”. This is especially important in current times, since a literate individual is one who is more successfully able to situate him- or herself within a continuum of lifelong learning in order to fulfill personal goals and to participate fully within the wider societyal context.
Although the word “literacy” has been with us for a very long time, the very meaning of the term itself has become increasingly complex due to a multiplicity of factors. At least in part, this complexity is a function of expanding and interconnecting notions of what it is that constitutes modern literacy as well as the increasingly technological nature of the world within which individuals live and learn. As such, a new horizon in literacy research has appeared, promising to renegotiate traditional definitions of the term “literate” and what it means to be critically literate in this increasingly complex world.
Definitions of literacy have also evolved along with the evolution of the computer. Currently, the term “literacy” describes a commitment to and participation in a multiplicity of meaning making systems, many of which exhibit ever-greater degrees of interdependence with one another. The term “Critical Literacy” has come into use relatively recently and is generally regarded as a sub-category of Critical Pedagogy—“Critical” because it promotes an agenda for positive social change.

Bryant Griffith

Education is a dance of complexity and struggle. Unfortunately, our educational system is tied to the observable and the verifiable, not the randomness of human beings and their diverse forms of expression. The reality of the contemporary classroom is a context of multifaceted diversity, with each classroom reflecting unique combinations of ideology, culture, and language, played out in numerous forms and permutations of multi-textual discourses. The influence of each contextual space is only limited by one’s ability to understand its complexity and to acknowledge it.
Teachers and learners are roommates of sorts, connected by the web of discourse and praxis, woven inside the global community. We live in a world where common understanding is desperately sought, yet one where language is often not tied to common understanding. Exploring the need for shared community within this context, Griffith provides a path in which the diverse ways of knowing can interlace to form pedagogical moments in which teachers and learners can deconstruct and construct alternatives.
Cultural narration is based on a series of social relationships, which can be compared to reading the world as a series of texts. As readers become a part of the reconstruction process, the educational system can be visualized as a series of cautionary tales about possibilities, about ways to live and build community in this modern/postmodern world. The author focuses on the nature of discourse and the importance of engaging in dialogue about what it means to be other-conscious, what it means to address questions about who we are and how we came to be who we are.
This path is continuously “under construction;” it is always in the process of becoming what is appearing on the horizon. As teachers learn to commit themselves to the gaps revealed by the narratives of their students, classrooms become discourse communities and contact zones, co-constructing contextual discourses which acknowledge ritual and gesture manifested in various forms of text.

Global Citizenship Education

Philosophy, Theory and Pedagogy

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Edited by Michael A. Peters, Alan Britton and Harry Blee

The essays in this edited collection argue that global citizenship education realistically must be set against the imperfections of our contemporary political realities. As a form of education it must actively engage in a critically informed way with a set of complex inherited historical issues that emerge out of a colonial past and the savage globalization which often perpetuates unequal power relations or cause new inequalities. The essays in the book explore these issues and the emergent world ideologies of globalism, as well as present territorial conflicts, ethnic, tribal and nationalist rivalries, problems of increasing international migration and asylum, growing regional imbalances and increasing world inequalities. Contributors to this collection, each on their own way, argues that global citizenship education needs to project new values, to reality test and debate the language, concepts and theories of global citizenship and the proto-world institutions that seek to give expression to nascent aspirations for international forms of social justice and citizen participation in world government. Many of the contributors argue that global citizenship education offers the prospect of extending the liberal ideologies of human rights and multiculturalism, and of developing a better understanding of forms of post-colonialism. One thing is sure, as the essays presented in this book demonstrate so clearly, there can be no one dominant notion of global citizenship education as notions of ‘global’, ‘citizenship’ and ‘education’ are all contested and open to further argument and revision. Global citizenship education does not name the moment of global citizenship or even its emergence so much as the hope of a form of order where the rights of the individual and of cultural groups, irrespective of race, gender, ethnicity or creed, are observed, preserved and protected by all governments in order to become the basis of citizen participation in new global spaces that we might be tempted to call global civil society.

Indian Diaspora

Voices of the Diasporic Elders in Five Countries

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Edited by Kalyana Mehta and Amarjit Singh

Indian Diaspora/Social Gerontology/Nursing/Multiculturalism/Education
In historic and ethnographic accounts of Indians living in diaspora, the elderly seem to receive much less attention than the new generation and its progress, prosperity and success. Using critical pedagogy approach, this book attempts to close that gap by focusing on the voices of the Punjabi, Bengali, Sindhi, and Gujarati diasporic Indians elderly, living in five countries. Learning to listen to the voices of these seniors may enable professors, teachers, students, policy makers, and parents to work towards building democratic societies.

James Bay Cree Students and Higher Education

Issues of Identity and Culture Shock

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Christopher Darius Stonebanks

This book examines the continuing challenges of lingering colonial cultural imperialism on the James Bay Cree, through an examination of the relationship between Cree students and the current “mainstream higher education” system. Culture shock and identity formation are central themes as the book investigates the uneven relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous authority in North America, dispelling notions of living in a “post-colonial” context. Well suited to a number of interests, such as Multiculturalism, Native/Indigenous studies, Sociology, Curriculum Studies, Cultural Comparative Education, Qualitative Research and more, readers will gain an understanding or simply benefit from a confirmation and validation of the complexities regarding “Native education”.

Neighborhoods of the Plantation

War, Politics and Education

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Kaustuv Roy

The plantation is a slave society, a means and a system of usurpation of life energies and bodily productive capacities in the service of endless bankruptcy on the one hand and elite persuasions on the other. The book argues, in part, that war or State organized violence is one of the most efficient means of the elite transfer; the wreckage through war and destruction of ordinary livability opens up the human as organic compounds in the turning of human life into global plantation assets. More importantly, the book argues that this is possible only by means of certain ontological and epistemological deployments that make war on the human-ecological inevitable and even acceptable. This is where pedagogy comes in. The temporal being, the spatial being, and the linguistic being of the human-ecological are explored as three dimensions of captivity as well as the means of escape. The book rejects the politics of power as inimical to the very becoming of the human and posits the politics of strength as a new possibility that breaks with the plantation system of organized violence and vampiric wealth production.

Racists Beware

Uncovering Racial Politics in the Post Modern Society

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George J. Sefa Dei

With admirable clarity and directness, George Dei exposes the tendency towards the racial re-feudalization of the contemporary public sphere in Canada and, by association, other post-industrial societies. He points to the enormous opportunity costs imposed on racial minorities in the new millennium as a consequence. In RACISTS BEWARE: UNCOVERING RACIAL POLITICS IN THE POSTMODERN SOCIETY, Dei identifies and subjects to close scrutiny the new race-bending logics of what he calls “postmodern” societies in which the dwellers of the suburbs and members of the itinerant white professional middle class (the great beneficiaries of late capitalism and neoliberalization of the economy) now have become the new social plaintiff turning the complaint of racial inequality and discrimination on the heads of those most oppressed. If Gayatri Spivak asks “Can the subaltern speak?” then Dei brilliantly poses the question: “When will Anglo-dominant groups, even critical ones, ever listen?” This book is likely to provoke and influence discussion on racial antagonism for a long, long time to come.

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Edited by Andrew H. Churchill

Rocking Your World: The Emotional Journey into Critical Discourses is an
introductory text that emerged from the belief that we often learn best through
personal narrative and story. This collection of real stories connects critical theory and critical pedagogy with personal transformation. It is an experiential primer in how to navigate a developing appreciation of how silent (and sometimes not so silent) machinations of power align themselves along axes of gender, race, class, sexual orientation, and global position (amongst others) to both conceal and perpetuate injustice and oppression.
In this book, twelve authors share personal reflections of how various critical discourse communities have impacted their lives. They explore a range of professional, family and social barriers to personal growth as teachers, professional researchers and everyday people; they give us glimpses into the impact of positionality, the balance between activism and intellectual rigor, the obstacles to teaching critically, and more.
This book would be an ideal complement to traditional texts and would provide countless opportunities to generate the kind of personal introspection and dialogue that can make studying critical pedagogy and other critical discourses a transformative experience. It is a must read for any teacher or student interested in the power of critical theories to transform how we see the world in which we live.

Symbolic Power in Cultural Contexts

Uncovering Social Reality

Edited by Jarmo Houtsonen and Ari Antikainen

Culture and power are among the most passionately argued concepts and ideas in the field of social sciences. In this book the relation between culture and power is examined through the concept of symbolic power. The essays in this multifaceted book examine the past and present forms of symbolic power in different geographical contexts, institutions and fields of social action.
The book is organized into four major parts. The first part, Symbolic (Mis)representations of Reality, focuses on the concept of symbolic power, classification as a strategy of symbolic manipulation, the authority of first person narration, and the emergence of the “precariat” in metropolises. The second part, Transforming State, Education and Childhood, deals with the profound changes in the European welfare state and its relation to childhood, and educational systems. The third part, Cultures and Agency in Changing Contexts, sheds light on the minority language issues in Europe, the position of young female immigrants in Israeli religious schools, the prevailing Chinese culture that prefers sons to daughters, the Finnish fashion industry in a global squeeze, and Australian sense of dwelling place and habitus. The final part, Emerging Identities of Intellectuals in Globalizing World, examines the nature and characteristics of intellectuals in India, the meeting of the Occident and the Orient in Tangier at the beginning of the 20th century, and the potential significance of the highly educated diaspora for socio-economic development.
The writers are internationally renowned social scientists from three continents. Editors Jarmo Houtsonen and Ari Antikainen work at the Department of Sociology at the University of Joensuu in Finland.
This book is dedicated to professor M’hammed Sabour.