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Insurgent Multiculturalism

A Dialogue with Henry Giroux
  • Donaldo Macedo
  • Lilia I. Bartolomé

Abstract

In this dialogue with Henry Giroux, we demonstrate that, as old borders and zones of cultural difference become more porous or eventually collapse, questions of culture increasingly become dominant; cultural traditions once self-confidently secure in the modernist discourse of progress, universalism, and objectivism are now interrogated as ideological beachheads used to police and contain subordinate groups, oppositional discourses and dissenting social movements. Struggles over the academic canon, the conflict over Multiculturalism, and the battle for either extending or containing the rights of new social groups dominate the current political and ideological landscape. What is at stake in these struggles far exceeds the particular interests that structure any one of them or the specific terrains in which they are subject to debate, whether they be the academy, the arts, schools, or other spheres of public life. Underlying the proliferation of these diverse and various battles is a deeper conflict over the relationship between democracy and culture, on the one hand, and identity and the politics of representation, on the other.

Keywords

Cultural Politics Subject Position Moral Vision Multicultural Education Critical Educator 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    James Cone, cited in bell hooks, Killing Rage: Ending Racism (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1995), p. 149.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cited in Gary Olson and Lynn Worsham, “Staging the Politics of Difference: Homi Bhabha’s Critical Literacy,” Journal of Composition Theory 18, no. 3 (1998), p. 362.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Lawrence Grossberg, “Cultural Studies: What’s in a Name?” Bringing It All Back Home: Essays on Cultural Studies (Durham: Duke University Press, 1997), p. 268.Google Scholar
  4. 8.
    David Theo Goldberg, Racist Culture (Cambridge, MA: Basil Blackwell, 1993), p. 105.Google Scholar
  5. 10.
    Shipler summarized in Jack H. Geiger, “The Real World of Race,” The Nation (December 1, 1998), p. 27. See also, David Shipler, “Reflections on Race,” Tikkun 13, no. 1 (1998), pp. 59Google Scholar
  6. David Shipler, A Country of Strangers: Blacks and Whites in America (New York: Vintage, 1998).Google Scholar
  7. 11.
    Ellen Willis argues that the two major upheavals to America’s racial hierarchy have been the destruction of the Southern caste system of and the subversion of whiteness as an unquestioned norm. She also argues rightly that to dismiss these achievements as having done little to change racist power relations insults people who have engaged in these struggles. See Ellen Willis, “The Up and Up: On the Limits of Optimism,” Transition 7, no. 2 (1998), pp. 44–61.Google Scholar
  8. 12.
    For a compilation of figures suggesting the ongoing presence of racism in American society, see Ronald Walters, “The Criticality of Racism,” Black Scholar 26, no. 1 (Winter 1996), pp. 2–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 13.
    Katya Gibel Azoulay, “Experience, Empathy and Strategic Essentialism,” Cultural Studies 11, no. 1 (1997), p. 91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Donaldo Macedo and Lilia I. Bartolomé 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donaldo Macedo
  • Lilia I. Bartolomé

There are no affiliations available

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