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ERIC Number: ED461857
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Nov
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Writing Classroom as a Site of Grassroots Democratic Action.
Kahn, Seth
Over the last 15 years or so, a variety of culture-based composition pedagogies have claimed to prepare students to take their places as citizens in a postmodern world. Cultural studies pedagogies in particular, because they tend to be grounded in neo-Marxist critical theory traditions, claim to enact democratic principles by preparing students to critique structures of domination. This paper argues that the theoretical top-heaviness of cultural studies undercuts its potential for democratizing students and classrooms. The paper then proposes a different culture-based pedagogical theory, grounded in socialist anthropology, that shifts the concept of democratic education away from something students have to prepare for, towards something that is democratic while it is being done. It begins with an historical overview of early composition theory and research. It then discusses, as an example of a course which operates according to the sort of democratic principles which cultural studies means to get at but does not, a writing course which focuses on student-teacher relations and on writing practices that reflect and refract those relations. What the paper proposes is a course structured as an ethnographic site, and more specifically a course in which both students and the teacher engage in ethnographic writing practices. (Contains 16 references.)(NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A