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Unsettling Research

Using Critical Praxis and Activism to Create Uncomfortable Spaces

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Sherilyn Lennon

Unsettling Research investigates what can be learned from the journey of an insider activist researcher seeking social transformations around issues of gender in an isolated rural Australian community. Unique and risky in its undertaking, the research evolves to create a new discourse in qualitative research. A seamless bricolage of autobiography/ethnography, narrative, feminist theory, critical theory, media literacy, critical pedagogy, and social theory, this work takes qualitative research to the next level. It enacts the notion of social justice, while creating a new lens through which to view action via research … research via action. The author allows the personal to establish positionality, and then works from within her position to create a meta-perspective on dialogue, action, and community manifestations of power. The analytic component of the research couples an ongoing process of coming-to-know with a need to address a community issue. By developing a conceptual framework and a process for disclosing and dislocating ideological hegemony and its associated power imbalances, the research adds to knowledge in the fields of gender and education, social justice, and nascent activist pedagogies. Whilst the particulars are located in Australia, the book creates a global lens for qualitative activist research.
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Gretchen Martin

In the antebellum South, the «plain folk» maintained social norms, ideals of honor, justice, gender, and liberty that were significantly distinct from town and planter gentility, and the humorists of the Old South captured this important distinction. Southwest humor flourished from the 1830s through the Civil War and this book provides a thorough investigation of the unique and innovative contributions of these humorists to the field of American literary realism, such as use of vernacular authenticity, complex character portraits, and the narrative technique of disclosure. Thus, when the Southwest humorists «tell about the South,» they provide an endlessly entertaining and realistic representation of the vast complexities of the antebellum South and illustrate that the roots of literary realism were sown and nurtured on the southwestern frontier.
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Undoing Whiteness in the Classroom

Critical Educultural Teaching Approaches for Social Justice Activism

Virginia Lea and Erma Jean Sims

At the start of the twenty-first century, government mandates and corporate practices are resulting in growing inequities in the U.S. educational field. Many view this as being driven by whiteness hegemony. Undoing Whiteness in the Classroom is a comprehensive effort to bring together, in one volume, educultural practices and teaching strategies that deconstruct whiteness hegemony, empower individuals to develop critical consciousness, and inspire them to engage in social justice activism. Through music, the visual and performing arts, narrative, and dialogue, educulturalism opens us up to becoming more aware of the oppressive cultural and institutional forces that make up whiteness hegemony. Educulturalism allows us to identify how whiteness hegemony functions to obscure the power, privilege, and practices of the dominant social elite, and reproduce inequities and inequalities within education and wider society.
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Critical Education and Sociomaterial Practice

Narration, Place, and the Social

Marcia McKenzie and Andrew Bieler

Critical Education and Sociomaterial Practice presents a situated approach to learning that suggests the need for more explicit attention to sociomaterial practice in critical education. Specifically, it explores social, place and narrative dimensions of practical experience as they unfold in schools, in place-based learning, and teacher education contexts. Such an orientation to practice both links social and material conditions (social relations, other species, physical context, objects) to human consciousness and learning, and considers the relationship between such learning and broader cultural change. The core of the book is an examination of critical situated learning undertaken through three separate empirical studies, each of which we use to elaborate a particular domain or dimension of practical experience. In turning to the sociomaterial contexts of learning, the book also underscores how social and environmental issues are necessarily linked, such as in the production of food deserts in cities or in the pollution of the drinking water in Indigenous communities through oil development. More social movements globally are connecting the dots between sexism, heteronormativity, racism, colonization, White privilege, globalization, poverty, and climate justice, including with issues of land, territory and sovereignty, water, food, energy, and treatment and extinction of other species. As a result, categorizing some concerns as ‘social justice’ or ‘critical’ issues and others as ‘environmental,’ becomes increasingly untenable. The book thus suggests that more integrative and productive forms of critical education are needed to respond to these complex and pressing socio-ecological conditions.
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Counterstorytelling Narratives of Latino Teenage Boys

From «Vergüenza» to «Échale Ganas»

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Juan A. Ríos Vega

Counterstorytelling Narratives of Latino Teenage Boys presents an ethnographic portrait of the experiences and counterstories of nine Latino teenage boys representing different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds attending a high school in North Carolina. Using critical race theory (CRT), Latino critical theory (LatCrit), and Chicano/a epistemologies as a theoretical framework, the book unveils how differing layers of oppression shape the lives of these boys of color through the intersections of race, gender, and class. Contrary to majoritarian assumptions, cultural deficit models, and their teachers’ low expectations, this research reveals how participants used their cultural capital as a foundation to develop resiliency. The findings in this book suggest that teachers, school administrators, and staff could benefit from a better understanding of Latino/a students’ community cultural wealth as a fundamental element for these students’ academic success. Counterstorytelling Narratives of Latino Teenage Boys will be an excellent resource for teachers, school administrators, college students, and pre-service teachers. It will be useful in courses in Latino/a studies in the United States, multicultural studies, race and education studies, social justice in education, race and gender studies, and social foundations in education.
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Keeping the Promise

Essays on Leadership, Democracy, and Education

Dennis Carlson and C.P. Gause

This volume raises critical questions about the qualities of democratic educational leadership during a time when the promise of democratic education and public life risks being abandoned, forgotten, and emptied of meaning. A diverse chorus of scholars in education take on this issue by analyzing the cultural context of educational leadership in the age of No Child Left Behind, by offering democratic counter-narratives of educational leadership, and by deconstructing popular culture representations of educational leaders. In doing so, they re-situate leadership within a political context and link it to struggles over social justice and human freedom. The contributing scholars also radically re-think educational leadership in ways that include teachers, university-based educators, and scholars as leaders.
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Defining Critical Animal Studies

An Intersectional Social Justice Approach for Liberation

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Edited by Anthony J. Nocella, John Sorenson, Kim Socha and Atsuko Matsuoka

This is the first book to define the philosophical and practical parameters of critical animal studies (CAS). Rooted in anarchist perspectives that oppose all systems of domination and authoritarianism, CAS both challenges anthropocentrism and presents animal liberation as a social justice movement that intersects with other movements for positive change. Written by a collection of internationally respected scholar-activists, each chapter expands upon the theory and practice underlying the total liberation approach, the roles of academics and activists, and the ten principles of CAS. With apolitical animal studies and exploitative animal research dominating higher education, this book offers a timely counter-narrative that demands the liberation of all oppressed beings and the environment. Defining Critical Animal Studies will interest educators, students, activists, community members, and policy makers seeking accessible theory that can be put into action.
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Investigating Fascism

Crime, Mystery, and the Fascist Ventennio in the Historical Novel

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Angelo Castagnino

Investigating Fascism offers an original approach to the historical novel and its connection to crime fiction. The study of contemporary novels set during Mussolini’s rule, with specific attention to the topics of violence, justice, mystery, and personal identity, leads to a discussion about, among others, Leonardo Sciascia, Maurizio De Giovanni, Carlo Lucarelli, and Andrea Camilleri. This text is based on two intertwining approaches: (1) an analysis of the ‘machine’ of the novel, focused on such aspects as characterization, the construction of the setting, and the narrative use of fantastic and subversive elements and (2) an analysis of the sociohistorical Fascist context. This book is a valuable reference for those who study Fascism, the social function of crime novels, and the connection between historical events and fiction.

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Yvonne Downs

Ivor Goodson is an immense and vital contributor to the study of education and to educational research. His influence extends across continents, taking in theory and practice, and including topics as diverse as curriculum history and the history of school subjects; change management and reform; teachers’ lives and careers; professional and learning identities; narrative and educational policy and life politics. To all this he brings a coherence born of his convictions and his commitment to social justice. This book traces the contours of his morally inflected approach to scholarship, highlighting its contribution to a politics of transformation, all the while acknowledging and encapsulating the practical, passionate, principled humanity that continues to drive Goodson’s scholarship.
This book will be of interest to students and teachers of education, to teachers and educational researchers, as well as to those with a passion for the history and politics of education.
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Critical Education and Sociomaterial Practice

Narration, Place, and the Social

Series:

Marcia McKenzie and Andrew Bieler

Critical Education and Sociomaterial Practice presents a situated approach to learning that suggests the need for more explicit attention to sociomaterial practice in critical education. Specifically, it explores social, place and narrative dimensions of practical experience as they unfold in schools, in place-based learning, and teacher education contexts. Such an orientation to practice both links social and material conditions (social relations, other species, physical context, objects) to human consciousness and learning, and considers the relationship between such learning and broader cultural change. The core of the book is an examination of critical situated learning undertaken through three separate empirical studies, each of which we use to elaborate a particular domain or dimension of practical experience. In turning to the sociomaterial contexts of learning, the book also underscores how social and environmental issues are necessarily linked, such as in the production of food deserts in cities or in the pollution of the drinking water in Indigenous communities through oil development. More social movements globally are connecting the dots between sexism, heteronormativity, racism, colonization, White privilege, globalization, poverty, and climate justice, including with issues of land, territory and sovereignty, water, food, energy, and treatment and extinction of other species. As a result, categorizing some concerns as ‘social justice’ or ‘critical’ issues and others as ‘environmental,’ becomes increasingly untenable. The book thus suggests that more integrative and productive forms of critical education are needed to respond to these complex and pressing socio-ecological conditions.