Negotiating and mediating constructions of racial identities

Ronald L. Jackson ii
2004 Review of Communication  
While pedagogy is often related to issues of democracy, citizenship, and the struggle over the shaping of identities and identifications, it is rarely taken up as part of a broader public politics-as part of a larger attempt to explain how learning takes place outside of schools. (Giroux, 2001, p. 128) The relationship between moral argument and public opinion, the moral force underlying second-best public policies, and the moral connection between results and process are all central to the
more » ... central to the democratic project. Focusing on the challenge that race consciousness poses for democracy simply brings these issues into sharp relief. (Appiah & Gutman, 1996, p. 14) Since the 1981 release of Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed, there has been a strong push to extend the boundaries of progressive pedagogy, to visit the sites of abandoned learning in our everyday lives. As the epigraph by Giroux implies, the purpose of doing so is to comprehend better social and civic responsibility in our irrefutably highly regulated democratic society, while keeping an eye on how identities are constituted and reconstituted in the process. On a daily basis, pedagogy inhabits spaces such as music, television, film, and the press, and each medium has contributed to academic interpretations as well as textual definitions of race. Cultural critics no longer hesitate to comment upon public and popular spaces where racial identities are mediated. On the contrary, critical theorists are now engaging the broader spaces as well as the interstices where we live rather than leaving them in splendid isolation from "true" academic discourse.
doi:10.1080/1535859042000250272 fatcat:ssogjqxwbzgq5cbikib3avuium