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ERIC Number: EJ950255
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 19
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-1071-4413
Policy as Performance: Tracing the Rituals of Racism
Schick, Carol
Review of Education, Pedagogy & Cultural Studies, v33 n5 p465-483 2011
This article examines the relations between two contrasting education phenomena that occur generally and that have come to light in the geographic location where the author teaches and works. This first phenomenon is the proliferation of interest in issues of diversity and equity through education policies, theories, practices, and initiatives. The second is that while the talk about diversity and justice issues gestures toward social change, equity issues have not made significant inroads in areas of public and post-secondary schooling. In light of the considerable gestures toward equity and then the lapse, or what is sometimes called more politely "a lack of political will," the author wishes to offer that one way of understanding the repetition of sameness may be found in the literature describing collective guilt, fear, shame, and transference. To explore this claim, the first part of this article offers Sara Ahmed's (2004) conjecture that by witnessing to what is shameful about its past, a nation will ""live up to" the ideals that secure its identity" and therefore be able to recognize and confirm itself as "well-meaning". In the second part the author describes a particular set of public policies from her own province that could serve as an example of well-intended initiatives of change but that are mostly ineffectual, especially when compared to literature on critical education initiatives or real change to existing power relations. In Part 3, she argues that instead of direct action on inclusivity (not to mention the possibility of transformation), what does take place resembles well-rehearsed activities that work as ritualized events, capable of dealing with shame and delivering absolution, that Vera and Feagin (2004) call the "rituals of racism" to expiate symbolically the lack of forward substantive movement. (Contains 13 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada