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ERIC Number: EJ1006670
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 49
ISSN: ISSN-1085-3545
"With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility": Privileged Students' Conceptions of Justice-Oriented Citizenship
Swalwell, Katy
Democracy & Education, v21 n1 Article 5 2013
How do students from privileged communities respond to educational efforts encouraging them to become justice-oriented citizens? Observational and interview data collected during a semester-long case study of eleven high school students in a social studies class at an elite private school reveal four markedly different interpretations of their teacher's call to be justice-oriented citizens. Under Westheimer and Kahne's (2004) conceptions of citizenship as an analytical frame, only one of these interpretations aligns with the tenets of justice-oriented citizenship and the desired outcomes of social justice pedagogy. Given that all eleven students considered themselves to be justice oriented, these findings reveal a disconnect between students' conceptions of social justice and the principles undergirding a social-justice education. This paper emphasizes the need for a more nuanced understanding of how students make sense of their social responsibilities as privileged people and reveals the deeply embedded nature of hegemonic common sense within privileged individuals and institutions. (Contains 2 tables, 1 figure and 14 notes.)
Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling. 0615 SW Palatine Hill Road MSC 93, Portland, OR 97219. Tel: 503-768-6054; Fax: 503-768-6053; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A