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On Language, Democracy, and Social Justice

Noam Chomsky’s Critical Intervention- Foreword by Peter McLaren- Afterword by Pepi Leistyna


Pierre W. Orelus and Noam Chomsky

Every century has witnessed the birth of a few world-transcending intellectuals as well as talented emerging scholars. Noam Chomsky and Pierre W. Orelus are no exception. Using dialogues exchanged over the course of nine years, combined with heartfelt critical essays, Chomsky and Orelus analytically examine social justice issues, such as unbalanced relationships between dominant and subjugated languages, democratic schooling, neoliberalism, colonization, and the harmful effect of Western globalization on developing countries, particularly on the poor living in those countries. On Language, Democracy, and Social Justice offers a unique perspective on these issues. Educators and scholar-activists interested in challenging the long-standing status quo to inspire transformative social, educational, and political change must read this book.


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3 emy is by and large a conservative place in which minimal space is allotted to progressive intellectuals and activist-scholars to engage in critical work aimed at challenging the status quo . I am also aware that the American public in general adheres to this conser- vative bent . However, I remain convinced that, like me, there must be deans, provosts, and university presidents who believe in academic freedom, upon which no institution should infringe . No one should allow an institution or dominant conservative group to silence one’s voice, for one’s freedom is in one’s voice . I argue that if an institution denies a professor tenure because of what he or she stands for—that is, because of his or her uncompromising democratic principles, ideology, and firm stance against social injustice and inequality—rather than be- cause of poor academic performance, this professor cannot have any respect for the institution . Having made that statement, let me also point out that I am fully aware that there are indeed many examples of excellent scholars, researchers, and teachers being denied tenure because of their ideological and political positions, not because of poor performance . Ideology matters (Freire & Macedo, 2002), and I am well aware of that . I am articulating these views so that the reader knows where I stand politically and ideologically . Unlike what some readers might assume, this book is not intended to glorify Noam Chomsky by placing him on a pedestal . (And the humble Noam Chomsky, I am sure, would not want to...

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