Critical Literacy: Theories and Practices, Vol 8, No 1 (2014)

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Antiracism Without Guarantees: A Framework for Rethinking Racisms in Schools

Tim J. Stanley


Due to their dynamic nature, racisms are manifested in classrooms and in the lives of young people in complex ways. As a result, teachers need antiracist literacies. No single antiracist strategy can work for all times and all places. To facilitate these literacies, this paper proposes a framework for analyzing racisms and identifying possibilities for antiracist intervention. The framework builds on the analysis of racism developed by Robert Miles and reworked by David Theo Goldberg. It also builds on the author’s own experience in teaching antiracism. The framework proposes that racisms exist in the plural; that all racisms involve racialization, exclusion and consequences; and that the conditions for racism point to antiracist strategies of challenging racialization, fostering deracialized inclusions and mitigating consequences. The framework is illustrated with examples from Canadian schools. The results do not guarantee an end to racisms, but can help to open up antiracist spaces in the lives of young people.


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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.