We open each chapter with a quote that captures a familiar misconception that the chapter will address. The chapters are written to be building blocks; because each chapter builds upon the previous, they are best read in sequence. The issues are complex, political, and often emotionally charged, and if readers have difficulty understanding a key idea from one chapter, they may have difficulty carrying the idea forward into the next. For these reasons, the book has the following features:. Definition Boxes in which we define key terms. Stop Boxes to serve as reminders of key ideas from previous chapters and to help with difficult or challenging concepts.
Perspective Check Boxes to draw attention to alternative standpoints on examples used in the text. Discussion Questions and Extension Activities for those who are using the book in a class, workshop, or study group. Patterns related to specific dynamics of oppression and how to practice recognizing them. A Glossary of terms used in the book and guide to language use.
We address some of the common challenges and present five guidelines or dispositions that can help ensure a constructive learning experience in the social justice classroom. These guidelines include how to reframe student beliefs and expectations about course grading and assessment. We explain the theoretical perspective known as Critical Theory and provide a brief sketch of key ideas relevant to our approach. The concept of knowledge construction is introduced. This chapter clarifies the difference between the opinions that readers already hold on a topic and the informed knowledge that we wish to provide and foster.
We introduce the relationship between being an individual and being a member of multiple social groups such as race, gender, and class. The chapter explains how important it is for us to understand that our ideas, views, and opinions are not objective and independent, but rather the result of myriad social messages and conditioning forces. We take the reader beyond the common conception of parents and families as the sole forces of socialization and describe how other institutions work to form our worldviews.
Examples are provided to illustrate the power of socialization and how it works as an unconscious filter shaping our perceptions. The chapter examines prejudice as internal—thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and assumptions—and its relationship to discrimination, which is external—prejudice occurring in action.
We explain that prejudice and discrimination cannot be humanly avoided; we all hold prejudices and we all discriminate based on our prejudices. We argue that the first step in minimizing discrimination is to be able to identify rather. Chapter 5: Oppression and Power explains how prejudice and discrimination are not the whole story. We move beyond individuals and take readers on an examination of prejudice and discrimination at the group level.
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We introduce the concept of power, which transforms group prejudice into oppression, and define terms such as dominant group and minoritized group. This chapter also explains the difference between concepts such as race prejudice, which anyone can hold, and racism, which occurs at the group level and is only perpetuated by the group that holds social, ideological, economic, and institutional power. While in some cases the privileged group is also the numerical majority, numbers are not the key criterion; the key criterion is social and institutional power. This chapter also explains related concepts such as internalized oppression and internalized dominance, and offers examples of how these dynamics work to hold existing relations of power in place.
Sexism traces a specific form of oppression—sexism—in order to illustrate how our ideas, views, and opinions are the product of interlocking and ongoing social messages in popular culture. We describe the ways in which such interlocking messages serve as barriers to seeing oppression and as such are central to how oppression is normalized. Through Racism traces a specific form of oppression in depth.
Racism is discussed within the U. Racism is illustrated through an examination of economic, political, social, and cultural.
We offer an in-depth understanding of racism as an entry point into building an in-depth understanding of how all oppressions are structural. Through White Supremacy. This chapter continues the examination of racism by identifying some of the ways in which racism adapts to and co- opts efforts to challenge it. We contrast multicultural education and antiracist education, introduce other concepts such as Whiteness and White supremacy, and end by addressing common misconceptions about racism. These misconceptions also function as another form of adaptation and co- optation.
We explain current economic relations of power, address concepts such as capitalism and socialism, wealth and income, as well as provide common class vernacular. The chapter also addresses the concept of intersectionality as an important theoretical development for understanding the multidimensional nature of oppression. We identify elements of class privilege, name common misconceptions about class mobility, and speak back to common classist narratives.
This chapter addresses the most commonly raised issues. Drawing on all that has been discussed in previous chapters, we briefly but explicitly speak again to these issues. The final chapter reviews key principles of critical social justice and offers some concrete suggestions for action. Looking head-on at injustice can be painful, especially when we understand that we all have a role in it.
However, in taking our readers on this journey we do not intend to inspire guilt or assign blame. At this point in society, guilt and blame are not useful or constructive; no one reading this book had a hand in creating the systems that hold injustice in place. But each of us does have a choice about whether we are going to work to interrupt and dismantle these systems or support their existence by ignoring them. There is no neutral ground; to choose not to act against injustice is to choose to allow it. We hope that this book gives our readers the conceptual foundations from which to act against injustice.
Race frameworks : a multidimensional theory of racism and education, Zeus Leonardo
Once upon a time, a foreign scholar and his entourage were passing through a town in Anatolia. The townsfolk immediately called Nasreddin Hodja to come to meet the foreign scholar. The foreigner did not speak Turkish, Persian, or Arabic, and Hodja did not speak any European languages, and so the two wise men had to communicate with signs while the townsfolk and the entourage watched in fascination. The foreigner used a stick to draw a large circle in the sand.
Hodja took the stick and divided the circle into two halves. The foreigner drew a line perpendicular to the one Hodja drew, and the circle was now split into four. He moved the stick to indicate first the three quarters of the circle, then the remaining quarter. In response, Hodja made a swirling motion with the stick on the four quarters. Then the foreigner made a bowl shape with his two hands held together side by side, palms up, and wiggled his fingers. Then, Hodja responded by cupping his hands with his palms down and wiggling his fingers.
I told him that three-quarters of the Earth was water and one quarter of it was land. He said that there were undercurrents and winds. I told him that the waters warm up, vaporize, and move toward the sky, and to that he replied that they cool off and come down as rain.
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The people of the town were also curious about how the conversation went. They gathered around Hodja. I said that he could only have half of it. He said that the syrup should be made with three parts sugar and one part honey. I agreed, and said that they all had to be well mixed together. Next, he suggested that we should cook it on blazing fire.
And I added that we should pour crushed nuts on top of it. This story is from the tales of Nasreddin Hodja, a 13th-century Sufisage. His wisdom stories often use humor to point out human failings and misunderstandings. What is relevant about this story for our purposes is the way it captures some of the key concepts in critical social justice literacy:. Each of us has a culturally based worldview. We hold a common assumption that others share our worldview. We often assume that what we intend to communicate is what is received.
Because Hodja and the foreigner do not speak the same verbal language, they move to a form of sign language and assume that they share the same understandings of what is being signed. Although both men leave the exchange feeling satisfied, we realize that they have completely misunderstood each other. But if we go deeper than a simple misunderstanding, we might also see that they had completely different ways of organizing the world and what they valued within it.
For the foreigner, the emphasis was on the elements of the Earth; he had a more scientific orientation. For Hodja, the emphasis was on sharing a meal; he had a more community orientation. As their ideas about each other form and are communicated to their respective groups the foreigner to his entourage and Hodja to his fellow townspeople , consider now that one of them is in the position to enforce his worldview upon the other; that is, consider what might happen when we add power to the encounter.
But now Hodja must pay the foreigner large fees to use this land.
The foreigner imposes these new rules and norms upon Hodja and the townspeople. Which one of these men is going to need to learn to understand the perspective of the other?