Cultural Pluralism, Student Journals, Sexuality, Thinking Skills, Student Attitudes, Racial Differences, Gender Differences, Critical Thinking, Sociocultural Patterns, Consciousness Raising, Discourse Analysis, Equal Education, Democratic Values, Role of Education, College Students, Power Structure, Historical Interpretation, Student Experience, Social Justice, Critical Theory, Educational Environment
This article examines a critical cultural thinking framework advanced to develop an analysis of difference as it pertains to race, gender, and sexuality. We examine student journals to document their use (or lack therein) of these critical cultural thinking concepts and how these concepts influence students' understanding of difference. While there are a number of tools that students can rely on for thinking critically, we advance four concepts that are central for the development of a critical cultural consciousness. The critical cultural thinking skills we identify in this article are (1) organic experience, (2) relational analysis, (3) historical analysis, and (4) conception of power relations. We argue that these tools are central for an intellectual understanding of difference. As the student journals analyzed in this article demonstrate, in the absence of these tools of inquiry, much of the campus discourse reverts to oppressive frameworks, which not only serve to oppress students of color, women, and gay and lesbian students but also erodes the practice of citizenship that is crucial for the development of educational democracy.
Equity & Excellence in Education
Required Publisher's Statement
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Equity & Excellence in Education on 30 Apr 2008, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/10665680801957378
Margaret Zamudio, Francisco Rios & Angela M. Jaime (2008) Thinking Critically about Difference: Analytical Tools for the 21st Century, Equity & Excellence in Education, 41:2, 215-229, DOI: 10.1080/10665680801957378
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