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ERIC Number: ED556451
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 204
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3035-9075-7
Countering Asocial Justice: Consumer Culture, Stance and a Cartography of Encounter
Rhodes, Matthew Dean
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
In Social Foundations classrooms, social justice approaches to questions of difference are certainly part of the curriculum. After teaching numerous Social Foundations courses, I encountered several issues related to the way rigid identity categories were complemented by neoliberal narratives that seemed to limit class conversation in troubling ways-particularly in that students had a difficult time articulating a sense of connection with others beyond their circles of acquaintances. This dissertation is an exploration of how I might resolve some of those dilemmas. I problematize the neoliberal subject position as it relates to questions of social justice, and offer that a relational approach to others may be a useful counter. Inspired by several scholars who address theoretical relational curricular possibilities, I designed a course using a consumer culture approach to constructing Other as a conceptual lens through which to begin talking about difference. Using student data from that class, I introduce stance analysis as a way to interpret the data in terms of the ways students either reinscribed or interrupted a sense of neoliberal relationality. Finally, using the methodological approach of social cartography, I created a map wherein students could plot their encounters across difference. This map is intended as a pedagogical heuristic that could be used to destabilize a self-possessed and individualistic neoliberal sense of self. To this end, the map is oriented toward an approach to self and Other that is contingent, ongoing and contextually mediated. I explore the pedagogical implications of the map and suggest that such approaches may be useful for better understanding how we are relationally constituted. I argue that entering social justice conversations from this vantage point may avoid some of the trappings of rigid identity categories without resorting to commonsense neoliberal narratives. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A