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Education for Critical Times
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Wednesday, 01 May 2013 21:52

The Social Construction and Mystification of Critical Language

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 walking our talk front

Those who know that they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound strive for obscurity.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900)
 
 
This PDF compares the role of teachers as both academics and intellectuals, suggesting that as academics who purport to be engaging with issues of  emancipation, equality and empowerment, we are rather agents for cultural imperialism and also its major beneficiaries. It suggests that the current academic fashions of postmodernism and poststructuralism are profoundly conservative and have been captured by the Right who have perverted their emancipatory origins. It locates these origins in the turbulent 1960s, and shows, how the structural changes to the American economy in the 1980s and 1990s decimated the radical imperative and initiated a conceptual shift to the Right which we as academics are supporting in our refusal to speak truth to power. It suggests that we are afraid to speak the truth because we might be understood, and so we couch our theories in opaque rhetoric and highly private languages, rather than in the language of the oppressed whom we purport to support and liberate.

 

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