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Title:Flexible Habits of Race and Gender: Political Agency and Identity Transformation in Schools
Author(s):McGough, Sarah Marie
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Burbules, Nicholas C.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Women's Studies
Abstract:Within schools, children learn how to enact and respond to race and gender through the cultivation of habits, including dispositions, bodily comportment, and ways of interacting. Classroom situations divided by gender and color lines, which lack communication, cooperative learning across difference, and integration of all classroom members, often result when habits are taken up rigidly. These events pose substantial restraints to the achievement of educational equality, collaborative learning, student ability to explore alternative ways of being, and student development of democratic characteristics. Through the examination of teacher narratives and classroom ethnographic research, as well as the theoretical lenses of pragmatism and poststructuralism, this philosophical project investigates these problematic classroom situations. This dissertation hypothesizes that when students learn to inhabit their races and genders more flexibly, many classroom dilemmas concerning race and gender can be prevented and current social structures of identity based privilege can be positively transformed. Through flexible habits, students can achieve agency in the ways in which they are identified by themselves and others and can effect political change in the systems of oppression that rely upon discretely defined identity groups. Finally, this project returns to actual classroom scenarios to offer educators specific curricular and pedagogical suggestions for alleviating classroom identity problems through the development of flexible habits.
Issue Date:2005
Description:197 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2005.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3199082
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2005

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