Link 1: While I agree with this blog’s assessment that today’s awareness events are really extensions of what people already like – the aestheticization of social causes works to appeal to burgeois sensibilities. I agree with Nealon that while awareness of social problems motivated people to events of public protest in the 1960s which cumulatively affected some degree of liberal social change, these efforts no longer work when resistance may be the dominant mode of power, itself.
Link 2: Again, I think that this post elides the apparent burgeois characteristic implied by the use of the term “Whiteness” here. Poor white people do not shop at Whole Foods. In the area where I live, there is no Whole Foods, or anything like it. People shop at Wall Mart, Meijer, and Kroger. Whats more, this post points to the common burgeois belief that by making the right choices, and taking advantage of the appropriate opportunities, anyone can ascend the social hierarchy. Furthermore, the author seems to imply that people *are in fact* homeless because of “free will” when s/he notes that the revelation of this notion would disrupt “White People’s” patterns of thought and behavior. What I think is missing in this discussion is an acknowledgment that working class culture produces working class people (Willis) and so it is more than making better choices, rather it is a matter of addressing one’s patterns of thinking, acting, feeling, believing, speaking, doing, etc.
If you’re serious about these responses to a satiric post (I do note I post them with tongue in cheek), I apologize for any offense given.
If, on the other hand, your critical, scholarly response to a flimsy, parodic site is itself a commentary on the way academic work functions in relation to practical social problems, then: awesome.
Either way, you make a good point–I’m just not sure whether to take to take these critiques seriously or not, since I obviously do not intend the two links to be a serious rebuttal to the project(s) of critical pedagogy (whatever my qualms about it, I cannot dismiss its dedication to liberation and social change, even if I remain skeptical that it is either effective or an appropriate goal for the classroom), nor do I take the content of the links themselves to be meant as anything other than parody or satire. Even still, I think the links do point to some of the critiques being made (even if on a superficial level) of critical pedagogy in our seminar’s discussion of late.
Sorry for confusion, I didn’t mean to insinuate that I thought that you thought that… So, no sweat!
Really – I agree with your last point that these sites seem to articulate some common critiques of critical pedagogy. I have heard various of these arguments made both within and outside WSU, and when I read these sites (I must admit that I didn’t really poke much around the sites other than to read the posts you pointed to) I felt like I had something to say and so I said.
I would be interested to hear more about what you mean by the send sentence/paragraph of your comment to my comment above – that is, the parody. Not sure if I follow, but I am interested in hearing more of what you mean.
As we saw in our seminar discussions, cultural studies pedagogy (which I find more compelling than critical pedagogy), is perhaps limited in its project of critique when compared to critical pedagogy’s project of practical, actual social change. So, I thought, just as I sort of took the piss of out critical pedagogy in the original post, I thought your eloquent and well-reasoned response to the issues raised by White People was a similar piss-taking of cultural studies pedagogy: let’s take some element of pop culture and critique it to within an inch of its life without actually, you know, doing anything about it.
In that sense, I really dug your original post, since I understood it as a sort of meta-parody response to the original. But knowing your commitment to critical pedagogy, I couldn’t rule out the possibility that maybe you had understood the original post as a mean-spirited comment about critical pedgogy–which I think now seems clear was not the case.
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