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Critical Youth Studies Reader

Preface by Paul Willis

Edited By Awad Ibrahim and Shirley R. Steinberg

This book won the 2014 AESA (American Educational Studies Association) Critics Choice Award.

This reader begins a conversation about the many aspects of critical youth studies. Chapters in this volume consider essential issues such as class, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, cultural capital, and schooling in creating a dialogue about and a conversation with youth. In a society that continues to devalue, demonize, and pathologize young women and men, leading names in the academy and youth communities argue that traditional studies of youth do not consider young people themselves. Engaging with today’s young adults in formal and informal pedagogical settings as an act of respect, social justice, and transgression creates a critical pedagogical path in which to establish a meaningful twenty-first century critical youth studies.
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46 From a Culture of Refusal to a Culture of Renewal: Criticalizing Muslim Youths’ Lives Through Calls to Collective Action

← 519 | 520 →CHAPTER 46



“Let it NOT be a Muslim….” This was the first thought and prayer uttered by many Muslims in America and around the world on the morning of Monday, April 15, 2013, after the news release that there was an explosion near the finish line at the Boston Marathon. The bombs killed three people, injured 264 others and inflicted around $333 million in damages to the city’s infrastructure, care for the 70 hospitalized victims, retail sales, and local economy, according to rough estimates reported in news outlets. Even before the dust from the collapsed infrastructures settled, the media and news outlets were abuzz with speculations on who the villains were: a “dark-skinned suspect,” a 17-year-old Moroccan high-school track star who attended the marathon carrying a black bag and seen fleeing the scene, and a 21-year-old Saudi “jihadi,” a student whose crime was to run away from a violent explosion. Following these reports, a conservative columnist (and sometime Fox News guest), Erik Rush, tweeted a call to collective action, calling on Americans to murder all Muslims, whom he described as “all evil.”

Later, the suspects were identified as brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, ethnic Chechens, born in Kyrgyzstan, and who had lived in America for several years. These brothers are literally Caucasian, since their family came from the northern Caucus region. These brothers were good-looking young men, definitely not dark-skinned, bearded, or “Saudi,” as speculated in the media circus. The alleged life story of these brothers as...

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