Noam Chomsky’s Critical Intervention- Foreword by Peter McLaren- Afterword by Pepi Leistyna
4 Democracy and Language Rights of Minority Groups
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Democracy and Language Rights of Minority Groups
Is democracy possible in a country where minority languages and cultures have been pushed to the margins, where citizens are merely spectators of educational, socioeconomic, and political decision-making processes affecting their lives, and where workers have been grossly exploited? This chapter aims to explore these questions. To this end, I begin by briefly reviewing major tenets of democracy as related to schooling. To further examine these tenets, I use excerpts of a dialogue in which I engaged Noam Chomsky about democracy and schooling. This dialogue is situated within the contemporary U.S. educational and neoliberal context, including the No Child Left Behind legislation. I go on to explore linguistic discrimination of minority students, including bilingual students, and how these students have faced barriers in schools and in society at large. I conclude this chapter by making an appeal for linguistic and cultural pluralism as a sine qua non for living in a participatory form of democracy.
Democracy: Whose Definition and Whose Interests Does It Serve?
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