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ERIC Number: EJ1081002
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Reference Count: 24
Politicizing Critical Pedagogies for the Logic of Late Capitalism
Rice, J. A.
Composition Forum, v18 Sum 2008
In current critical pedagogy theory, the term "globalization" frequently signifies the rapid homogenization and structural equivalency of material and intellectual differences into a unified, transnational, capitalist rationality. For many composition scholars, this homogeneity signals an interpellation of not just subjects, but any and all differing rhetorical logics. Different nations' peoples, goods, and cultures can interact, but only insofar as the "flowing" aspects of information are determined by the hegemonic and political functions of "the" global language. Though the loss of national and cultural autonomy is almost a prerequisite for globalizing processes, the much more pressing aspect here is the structural dependence on the frictionless exchange between so-called identical contexts. Because information can be exchanged according to the same material and rhetorical presuppositions worldwide, qualitative contextual differences are traded for a paradigm of material and epistemological equivalency. Several critical theories and pedagogies show that globalization complicates current classroom situations far beyond traditional humanist concerns of interpretive emancipation, rhetorical freedom, and civic agency, they likewise demonstrate that acceptance of communicative homogeneity does not make room for systemic differences in either rhetoric or knowledge. If globalization homogenizes discursive possibilities and reduces knowledge to practical utility, can liberatory strategies authorize, either pedagogically or theoretically, spaces for effective social and communicative resistance? To what extent are critical pedagogies' methods and goals commensurate with the restrictive logic of globalization? Since knowledge production, market applicability, and differential rhetorics produce a new pedagogical horizon, how might teachers develop strategies that intervene, and perhaps alter, hegemonic communicative processes? In an effort to complicate and extend these questions, this article suggests that not only the goals and methodologies for liberatory teaching, but also its practical potential for bringing about viable pedagogical and communicative alternatives in a globalized world are fundamentally rethought. Specifically, this article rejects critical pedagogy's humanist and liberal-democratic methodologies on the grounds that they work with, not against, the globalizing processes of capitalism. In their place, the author argues for a return to the speculative dimension historically associated with critical theory and pedagogy.
Descriptors: Social Systems, Politics of Education, Critical Theory, Global Approach, Teaching Methods, Rhetoric, Neoliberalism, Critical Thinking, Humanism
Association of Teachers of Advanced Composition. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://compositionforum.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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