Critical Literacy and Youth Organizing
Chapter 4. Step Two: Interrogating Complex Perspectives
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The second element in the critical literacy taxonomy involves “researching, analyzing, and interrogating multiple viewpoints” on a given issue. Multiple perspectives are key to understanding different complex positions and interpretations. This point inexorably links to the third taxonomical element explored in Chapter 6, which focuses on the identification of issues focused on sociopolitical realities. In the early stages of engaging organizing, youth may have only limited knowledge of specific issues and related social injustices. Rather, they identify issues while conducting research and seeking out multiple perspectives and continue in an iterative cycle of identifying new issues and conducting new research accordingly. All of the participants highlighted the value and importance of having safe space in which to participate and facilitate difficult dialogues.
The most prominent practices participants identified involved searching out independent, international media resources, asking questions about who owns the modes of production to control who speaks and what message is conveyed (Lankshear & McLaren, 1993). They sought out diverse perspectives ← 39 | 40 → on a host of issues. The pages that follow provide examples of some ways in which participants gathered sources, conducted research, gained perspective and reckoned with 21st-century information culture(s).
Vaga De Franx considers complex perspectives and viewpoints through her uses of media, as well as her call for peer study groups for informal learning around books and histories. Whether interrogating the underlying messages on chauvinism or feminism, there is a way in which her habits of questioning read as a powerful...
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