Multi/Intercultural Conversations: A Reader

Multi/Intercultural Conversations: A Reader

Multi/Intercultural Conversations: A Reader

Multi/Intercultural Conversations: A Reader

Synopsis

Multi/Intercultural Conversations brings together voices from all over the world in the examination of critical pedagogy and the politics of identity in regard to viewing education as a global endeavor. The authors are teachers, parents, professors, and writers engaged in projects of social justice and education with the desire to open a conversation between both students and teachers about education in the new millennium.

Excerpt

Peter J. McLaren

I wish to make two claims. One is that multicultural education has largely refused to acknowledge how imperialism, colonialism, and the transnational circulation of capitalism influences the ways in which many oppressed minority groups cognitively map democracy in the United States. The other claim is that the present focus on diversity in multicultural education is often misguided because the struggle for ethnic diversity makes progressive political sense only if it can be accompanied by a sustained analysis of the cultural logics of white supremacy.

Sustaining a meager existence is becoming frighteningly more difficult with the passage of time for millions of Third World peoples as well as First World urban dwellers, including millions of inhabitants of the United States. Labor markets are growing more segmented as full-time workers are replaced with part-time workers who are unable to secure even meager health or dental benefits. The days of high-wage, high-benefit mass production manufacturing are receding into the horizon. Yet manufacturing has not completely disappeared from the United States. Of Los Angeles County's labor force now, thirty-six percent is in manufacturing (the nation's largest manufacturing base). The exploitation of these workers continues to increase. The information revolution that has accompanied the global shift to post-Fordism and flexible accumulation has increased social inequality rather than diminished it.

The greed and avarice of the ruling class in the United States is seemingly unparalleled in history. Yet its goals remain decidedly the same. The application of market principles to higher education, the vulgar mercantilism that undergirds public educational reform, the bureaucratic centralism, new class managerialism, hyperprofessionalism, evisceration of public protection programs, shamefully absent enforcement of environmental . . .

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