In an online post of 200–300 words, thoughtfully respond to the following:
- Do you think it is difficult to have conversations about race? Why or why not?
- With respect to addressing race issues, do you agree with the strategies suggested by Brookfield, Sánchez-Flores, or Smooth? Are there other strategies you can offer?
Respond also to at least one other post.
Learners and teachers are not necessarily interested in hearing the difficult things that need to be said or doing the difficult analysis of unpacking their assumptions about inequality (Denis and Schick, 2003, p. 55)
That the course is compulsory is taken by some as an indication of a moral lack on their part, a suggestion that is an affront to their self-perceptions as supportive liberals (Schick, 1998) I would say this applies to any interculturalization teachings for teacher education…
Racism becomes an everyday life and “normal” way of seeing. Its banality and invisibility is such that it is quite likely that there may be entirely “politically correct” white individuals who have a deeply racist perception of the world. It is entirely possible to be critical of racism at the level of ideology, politics and institutions … yet possess a great quality of common sense racism, (p. 11, emphasis added) (Denis and Schick, 2003, p. 57)
On asking the question, who benefits from this: Schick p. 58 “In other words, rather than accepting the belief that children need their mothers, one is directed to exploring the social, economic, and political interests that are served by insisting that women are the natural primary caretakers of children. ”
p. 58-59 “Students are alerted to the power differential that determines whose knowledge and what knowledge is considered valuable. We emphasize that power/knowledge is productive of social relations (Banks, 1993; Connell, 1993), as illustrated by the fact that school curricula mainly reflects the point of view of powerful people who organize it”
A triangle indicates the interconnections and mutually reinforcing nature of these three points that are admittedly described in a simplified version. In our teaching, rather than view mainly the personal and systemic points, we believe it is important to examine the ideological assumptions that enable and support personal and systemic practices of inequality. p 58
On discourse being ideological and policitical:
(Fairclough, 1992, p. 36). In a discussion of a Foucauldian notion of discourse, Fairclough explains that discourses are both political and ideological: “Discourse as a political practice establishes, sustains, and changes power relations” (p. 67); and “Discourse as an ideological practice constitutes, naturalizes, sustains and changes significations of the world from diverse positions in power relations” (p. 67).
Resistance to cross-cultural and anti-racist education manifests itself in many forms, including various combinations of denial of inequality, selective perceptions of reality, guilt and anger, and at times withdrawal from learning (Adams, Bell, & Griffin, 1997; Elliot, 1997; Martin, 1995; Sleeter, 1993). By offering data from a rural-based small urban setting where the victims of racism are predominantly Aboriginal, our work adds a new dimension to the existing literature, which generally focuses on large urban settings where the victims of racism are other people of color such as Blacks or Asians.(p. 57) St Denis…
We are concerned that anti-racist teaching can unintentionally reinforce relations of domination in educational institutions (McCarthy & Crichlow, 1993) if the teaching fails to examine racist ideologies and the politics of racial identifications. (p. 57)
Interelatedness of power differential: Another example of the center relying on the margins for definition is found in the construction of Europeans as “civilized” in relation to “uncivilized” Aboriginal people, a distinction based on criteria such as private property, patriarchy, and Christian morality (Carter, 1996; Ng , 1993)
A triangle indicates the interconnections and mutually reinforcing nature of these three points that are admittedly described in a simplified version. In our teaching, rather than view mainly the personal and systemic points, we believe it is important to examine the ideological assumptions that enable and support personal and systemic practices of inequality. p.58
The readings demonstrate how dominant identities rely on peripheral, marginalized, stigmatized identities for self-definition, for defining who we are because we are not them. This is described as “dominance through difference” (Fellows & Razack, 1998). In our teaching difference is denaturalized through a process of exploring how dominant identifications-such as able-bodied, middle-class, and heterosexual achieve normative recognition in relation to the construction of outsider identifications such as disabled, homosexual, working-class, and Aboriginal peoples. p. 59
In this regard it is necessary to challenge the assumption that Canada has always been a fair nation, and we do this by 59 V. St. Denis and C. Schick exploring the counter-histories of racially marginalized groups. The assumption of fairness and the silencing of racialized minority history are foundational moves for keeping intact the ideology of meritocracy. We consider a variety of counter-histories. 59-60
They are encouraged to comment on their own social production, exploring how their own families achieved and are achieving what is commonly understood as respectability (Comment here upon own history of respectability… mother embarrassed by speaking french and comments about “multiplying like bunnies” and embarrassed by the poverty to this day results in her hiding her own history from her children.
My grandmother remembering being embarrassed at having an accent, english being a far superior language and striving hard to remove any trace of her language origins.
p 60 of schick that describes the practice they support of developing a history that synthesizes privelege and lack of in terms of their location and how that has reproduced or had effect on reproducing inequality.
schick finding “they see that identities are produced through stigmatized and marginalized others. ” talk about marginalzing others in order to maintain status quo
p. 61 – referring to moving past seeing common sense notions that we are progessing and working towards meritocracy…
This strategy of denying that race matters supports differences of power reflected in historic, social, political, and economic practices. Race is a social and historical category produced through power relations and necessary for the construction of difference—difference that is frequently explained in dominant discourses as “innate inferiority/superiority” (Ng, 1993; Omi & Winant, 1998). This denial of unequal power normalizes and makes invisible both historical and current relations of inequality. Without naming relations of inequality based on race, racial inequality is assumed to be an explanation for disadvantage. p.62
Racism is a particular prejudice that legitimizes an unequal relationship. In other words, racism is political; it facilitates and justifies socioeconomic mobility for one group at the expense of another … While there may be mutual dislike, there is no such thing as a mutual discrimination in an unequal relationship, (p. 75) In Schick (p. 63)
Culture talk is popular because it does not challenge the status quo (St. Denis, 2002).p. 63