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ERIC Number: EJ882689
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1071-4413
Beyond Anti-Elitism: Black Studies and the Pedagogical Imperative
Gordon, Jane Anna
Review of Education, Pedagogy & Cultural Studies, v32 n2 p129-144 2010
"Elitism" is frequently invoked among the pantheon of "isms" actively to be disavowed. Indeed the charge of elitism often takes the form of reiteration, of identifying yet another manifestation of adherence to traditional standards steeped in discrimination by sex, race, and class, this time in their institutional guises in the merit credited to those whose privileged identities facilitate their entry into prestigious schools and employment. To be an anti-elitist is not to practice such acts of deferral, not to assume the greater value or quality of who and what are widely considered to possess it. The anti-elitist questions whether it is the identity of the candidates and the access that such people have to exclusive prerequisite training that are the basis for their inclusion in elite institutions rather than their merit when compared with all who might be considered if given the same opportunities. This essay discusses and critically examines the widespread way of discussing elitism and anti-elitism. The author suggests, critically engaging the work of Frank Furedi, that there is "nothing intrinsically progressive" in anti-elitism, that standing alone, it may be incoherent. She introduces the organizing aims of Black Studies programs and closes with a discussion of Hannah Arendt's warning about the impossibilities of educating in the absence of some consensus about the nature of legitimate authority and concerning what is necessary in developmental terms to cultivate young people equipped with the wherewithal to try, in their own terms, to set the world right. (Contains 9 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A