Critical Literacy: Theories and Practices, Vol 7, No 2 (2013)

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Against the Tide: Working With And Against the Affective Flows of resistance in Social and Global Justice Learning

Lisa K Taylor


In arguing that ideologies happen as ways of knowing, feeling and being (and being-in-relation to differently constructed populations) become familiar, Stewart and others push educators to understand hegemony as processes of habituation and inhabiting. Within such processes, our concern and indifference, our action and inaction as global citizens are inseparable dimensions of the ways we make psychic and emotional as well as rational and material homes within hegemonic world views with their associated values and repertoires of identities, communities, their discursive and imaginative limits. Flying below the radar of critical thought, hegemony in this sense includes the ways a Eurocentric colonial imaginary and West-centred global order structure both student desire as well as the terms and limits of “thinkability” (Britzman, 1998) when citizens of the North turn their attention to those of the South. Exploring in our pedagogical practice the ways power works through our habitual processes of making emotional, ontological, and epistemic homes within hegemonic ideologies implies recognizing learning as both a discursive and psychic event (Britzman, 1998, p. 118). Recognizing learning as an event situated “where the crisis of representation that is exterior to the self meets the crisis of representation that is interior to the learner” (Pitt & Britzman, 2003, p. 756) also implies teaching in ways that engage the opaque but intransigent forces of the inner worlds of learners as inherent to all learning.

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Critical Literacy: Theories and Practices is a non-commercial initiative committed to the ethical dissemination of academic research and educational thinking. CLTP acknowledges the thoughtful dedication of authors, editors and reviewers to develop and promote this open journal initiative. The journal receives copy-editing sponsorship from the Faculty of Education at the University of Oulu, Finland. CLTP has previously received  copy editing support from the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice at the University of Nottingham, UK.