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ERIC Number: ED462728
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Mar
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Ending the Turf Wars: Connecting Service-Learning and Cultural Studies Composition.
Inman, Joyce O.
Cultural activism--such as that promoted by cultural studies pedagogies--is often missing in both the theories and pedagogies of service learning. Ignoring the action potential inherent in cultural studies and its potential contributions to service learning may very well subvert a potentially radical and critical pedagogy into merely a trend. Cultural studies pedagogies compel students to look beyond the written page and recognize the "texts" of the everyday. Cultural studies can provide students with the heuristics necessary to write critically about their individual experiences with community service. To gain what Bruce Herzberg terms "critical consciousness," students need to understand that the services they perform are texts in action; they have historical, economic, social, and cultural positions. If students' civic actions are not viewed as texts to be analyzed, they will merely be required acts of kindness. Cultural studies does not pass itself off as a neutral pedagogy--it is based on Marxism; it requires students to move outside of their comfort zones; and it is primarily concerned with power and politics. And power and politics are at the very core of any community service action. Cultural studies and service learning both suggest the classroom as a forum for investigating the theoretical, practical, and political aspects of the information students encounter. Both pedagogies seek to "produce" students who are civic-minded rhetors. Community service writing seeks to encourage a certain kind of writer: one that can reflect on his/her own experiences; someone who can think, read, and write critically, and someone who has experience doing these things in an environment other than the classroom. To produce such writers, educators must acknowledge their intentions for their students as writers and as citizens. (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A