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[Xmca-l] Re: What is a Pedagogy of the Oppressors?



Message from Francine:

 Peter's comment "that surely there's more to world society than the binary of 
oppressed and oppressors, usually presented as mutually exclusive categories"
warrants being be a header for a new thread.

There is a binary list of oppressors emerging from XMCA e-mails (that ought to make
us stop and think):

(1) the police as a systemic oppressor of black males versus black males who are
the oppressed

(2) graduates of elite universities versus  those who are not admitted to, 
and thus do not graduate, from elite universities [with the exception of police officers
who become oppressors through the policing system?]

This amounts to stigmatizing certain segments of the population and making
them the scapegoats  for any problems that the 'other' has. The alternative is to
ask (Annalisa says we start by asking insightful questions):

(1) Are their systemic elements in policing that lead to abuse of power and need
to be addressed in police training? Zimbardo's Stanford Prison study is a good starting
point.

(2) Are there dysfunctional and criminalizing elements in society that lead some
 black males to choose violence? How can these dysfunctional and criminalizing
elements be addressed? Fatherless boys prone to gang recruitment, lack of
jobs, etc. 

(3) Is there something systemic in elite institutions that makes graduates insensitive 
to the other and exploitive of others? Should they be required to do service learning
while students and continue community service through the alumni associations?

(4) Among all those who do not attend elite institutions, are there choices that they
made that have put them in a position of extreme vulnerability to exploitation? 
There are so many different categories of people here.  Some find other ways to gain 
power in society such as sport superstars, superstar entertainers, entrepreneurs, or
create a niche that they can function in and maintain some self-efficacy. 


Just asking questions . . . .



> Date: Mon, 5 Jan 2015 07:50:36 -0800
> From: lpscholar2@gmail.com
> To: xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: What is a Pedagogy of the Oppressors?
> 
> Returning to Raymond Williams and his notion of "structures of feeling"
> that are factual and shared *sense* that is felt.  The comments from Greg
> and others are asking if they are *unknowingly* participating in pedagogies
> of oppressor(s) I read as an ethical question, in the spirit of Levinas.
> His exploration asking
> "am I *over* others, or am I *equal* to others* or must I *answer the face
> of the other* who will not release me from my obligation to the other.
> 
> Why is Levinas read today when his writings were unread for many years. Is
> it because we are *involved* in a *structure of feeling* that we sense as
> ambivalence.
> 
> The terms *oppressors* is indicating a possible *felt* structure that is a
> social phenomena experienced by some in positions of power and that feeling
> *calls* them to action prior to clear articulation of why in language.
> 
> On Mon, Jan 5, 2015 at 3:16 AM, Peter Smagorinsky <smago@uga.edu> wrote:
> 
> > Surely there's more to world society than the binary of oppressed and
> > oppressors, usually presented as mutually exclusive categories?
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
> > xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of FRANCIS J. SULLIVAN
> > Sent: Sunday, January 04, 2015 8:16 PM
> > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: What is a Pedagogy of the Oppressors?
> >
> > Wow, this is a great thread, one I think about all the time, as one of the
> > oppressors. Not by choice, as I see this as a structural, or rather a
> > "positional" category, akin to the workings of power in terms of one's
> > relationship to the means of production. I can still recall Horkheimer and
> > Adorno's anecdote in *Dialectic of Enlightenment*, one the ways that the
> > songs of the Sirens went unheard by Odysseus' crew--as he had stoppered
> > their ears--yet remained useless to Odysseus as he was lashed to the mast.
> > So, I certainly agree that we need a pedagogy of the oppressors as a
> > complement to that of the oppressed. I always thought that was the major
> > effort of the Frankfurt School.
> > As someone who teaches secondary school pre-service teachers, I am quite
> > aware of my structural position as an "officer of the State." I was in the
> > middle of revising my syllabi for the upcoming semester when I saw this
> > thread emerge. The advent of the corporate reform of schooling called
> > Common Core poses a fundamental threat to the democratic roots of education
> > in the US, yet I can neither ignore it nor simply trash it. The students I
> > prepare must be able to address the Core if they are to have a career at
> > all. So, for better or worse, I find the best resistance to be the tightest
> > embrace of the "principles" embedded in the Core, an embrace that, I hope,
> > lets me transform them into a useful and useable critique of the Core
> > itself. So, this semester, we examine "speaking" and "writing" standards in
> > terms of dialect, code, and register differences. We develop lessons and
> > units in which high school students grapple with the reality of
> > "code-switching," and the choices one can make to successfully navigate
> > speech and writing situations defined by conflicting purposes and
> > relational hierarchies.
> >
> > Of course, all this is news to my students, almost all of whom are white
> > and middle-class, and most of whom are male. So, I approach these topics by
> > emphasizing that learners develop best when teaching meets them where they
> > are and builds on what they know. I choose texts that de-emphasize the
> > kinds of oppression that plays out in the lives of urban students. So,
> > where does someone like me fit in this mosaic? Are we "leading the
> > resistance from behind; or allowing ourselves to be co-opted?" My answer to
> > that changes at least weekly, sometimes daily. I can only say that I'm
> > doing what I can.
> >
> > Francis J. Sullivan, Ph.D.
> > Associate Professor
> > Department of Teaching and Learning
> > College of Education
> > Temple University
> > Philadelphia, PA 19122
> >
> >
> > Find out what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact
> > measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.
> >
> >  Frederick Douglass
> >
> > On Sun, Jan 4, 2015 at 3:46 PM, Annalisa Aguilar <annalisa@unm.edu> wrote:
> >
> > > Hi,
> > >
> > >
> > > I am peeling off from the old thread to begin a new thread!
> > >
> > >
> > > Our inquiry hear appears to be: What is a Pedagogy of the Oppressors?
> > >
> > >
> > > I suggest "a" and not "the" because there could be more than one, surely?
> > >
> > >
> > > For new arrivers to this thread, it commenced from this thread here:
> > >
> > > http://xmca.ucsd.edu/yarns/15848
> > >
> > >
> > > With its genesis here, thanks to Greg!
> > >
> > > http://xmca.ucsd.edu/yarns/15848?keywords=#52332?
> > >
> > >
> > > Kind regards,
> > >
> > >
> > > Annalisa
> > >
> > >
> >
> >