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Qual II 2016--Week 2
Transcript of Qual II 2016--Week 2
This was eventually
expressed in the
development of the
Qualitative Research Methodology II: Critical and Post-critical Inquiry
Check-In: your vision of a collective future worth aspiring to...
Recap: Theoretical Frameworks
The Idea of Ideology
First precis due next week
Intro next week's readings
Gots and needs
Unit of Analysis
and Data Sources
Mode of Representation
Marxism & Critical Theory
Identify Contradictions that Sustain Structural Inequality
Third person descriptive prose
Inform Struggle for Economic Justice
Why talk about
Curriculum and the Labor Process: The Logic of Technical Control
Apple begins the essay with a general overview of the modes of social control exerted in a capitalist social-cultural-economic system. He identifies three modes of control:
The latter two are more recent developments in capitalist societies, and are more sophisticated means of controlling the products of labor.
Apple focuses on "technical control" and outlines how labor gets deskilled and then re-skilled so that it costs less and is more malleable and controllable by employers. This process, which used to be applied only to blue-collar professions is increasingly being applied to those in the managerial class. In this case, Apple is looking at the work of teachers.
The deskilling of teaching has impacts on the curriculum students receive. In fact Apple argues that the emerging system of technical control of the work of teaching is producing a certain kind of student subjectivity--one where technical competence is replacing ethical and political bonds as the basis of community.
Apple highlights possible modes of resistance at the close of his essay. He is not optimistic, but he adheres to the Marxist observation that ideologies that sustain capitalism always involve contradictions, which can be sites of subversion and resistance.
Small Group Discussion Questions
Have you ever experienced a form of technical control in your life? Why might it be difficult to know for sure, according to Apple?
Apple says he is focused in this essay not on the content, but on the form, of curriculum. What does he mean by that? How is the form related to the content?
What is the relation to the form curriculum takes in the new educational improvement movements and the larger economic structure? Is it simply that some companies want to sell curriculum packages and textbooks? Or is there more going on (according to Apple)?
Ideology... is indispensable in any society if men are to be formed, transformed and equipped to respond to the demands of their conditions of existence.
. . . ideology has to do with legitimating the power of a dominant social group or class....The process of legitimation would seem to involve at least six different strategies.
A dominant power may legitimate itself by promoting beliefs and values congenial to it
naturalizing and universalizing such beliefs so as to render them self-evident and apparently inevitable
denigrating ideas which might challenge it;
excluding rival forms of thought...
and obscuring social reality in ways convenient to itself.
Such ‘mystification,’... frequently takes the form of masking or suppressing social conflicts, from which arises the conception of
ideology as an imaginary resolution of real contradictions
. In any actual ideological formation, all six of these strategies are likely to interact in complex ways.
Ideology is a system of thought that is structured in such a way that is distracts people from the causes of their own suffering and oppression.
bourgeois social science
celebrating recreation and entertainment as "escape"
Real science, according to this view, requires a critical interrogation of the ideological influences on a study's design and focus. This self-interrogation is called REFLEXIVITY.
Disability Studies: Gleeson
American Indian Identity: Grande
Black Marxism and Charters:
Stern & Hussain
small group discussion
and Amy Welles
First Precis Due
Some big picture background...
The idea that we are systematically deceived about the causes of our oppression or the oppression of others.
This does not refer to a conspiricacy theory.
Not a new idea to those on the receiving end of oppression.
Let's try to appreciate the almost mystical impact of the enlightenment on Europe. The success of mathematized science was a metaphysical wonder.
For hundreds of generations Europeans sought a truth behind the veil of illusion in this world. This was the highest calling.
Pursuit of religious truth--discernment of signs and faith
Pursuit of philosophical truth--rational reflection and critical thought
Meanwhile artisans got on with the daily tasks of measuring and building things.
This idea of power and truth emerging from the profane activity of the craftsman, not the aristocrat or priest, shattered the social order, but affirmed some very deep cultural narratives--e.g. Christ was born among the poor, not the wealthy. There is dignity and wisdom to be found among those who toil in the dirt.
Inspired a democratic revolution....
Imagine for a moment, however, that you were a part of this early European enlightenment.
It is hard to appreciate this sense of possibility in our deeply (and justifiably) cynical age.
Even those who could see that the old biases lingered--classism, racism, patriarchy, greed and avarice--or that the new scientific enlightenment was at times cited as evidence of white supremacy or male supremacy, or as a justification to do heinous things--all of this was considered a mistake that could be cleared up. The solution to every problem was more rationality.
This was new. It was not old biases creeping in. It was the new, enlightenement rationality itself being perverted. It was the
medicine that had
showed so much
Not by a conspiracy.
Bright, well-intentioned people were helping
Hope itself was at risk. Justice. The possibility of a rational beloved community.
Karl Marx is the most famous of a few dozen folk who took this challenge head on. He argued that we could apply rational and scientific analysis to rationality itself, and thereby purge it of its new distortions.
Did this mean the promise of rational social analysis was doomed? Or could it be rescued?
Applying rationality to itself is called reflexivity. And the study of the distortions of rationality was called ideology. Later that term would also be used to refer to the distortions themselves. Marx and his cohort believed ideologies were primarily driven by economic interests.
The study of ideology was an effort to rescue science from corruption. It was committed to precise careful analysis. The Frankfurt School of Critical Theory was a group that took up the task of carefully reforming the social sciences in particular. The core analytic practice was identifying the contradictions between stated goals, means, and empirical social conditions in bourgeoisie social analysis.
This is the larger drama behind Michael Apple's technical breakdown of how ideology distorts education research and policy. He wanted rational policy that dealt with the real problems of the schooling system, not small incremental problems that functioned as excuses for not dealing with structural inequality.
Folks like Galileo and Newton borrowed heavily from this repertoire of artisan skills.
And it turns out, the key to secrets about how the universe operated were found in this profane place!
...based on the idea that knowledge of the essence of things was available to everyone, from the lowest to the highest, using only the mundane tools of mathematics used by surveyors and blacksmiths.
The utopian vision of a global community of humans bound together by rationality purged of superstition and partisan bias remained intact for over three centuries.
Then, you began to see the new social sciences do something strange. They began to look away from the hardest problems of the day. They began to avoid questions that would require institutional changes that would harm the interests of the most wealthy and powerful. Worse, science began to be used to actually reinforce social stratification.
That you could buy into the idea that the old biases will, with enough commitment to rationality, eventually burn away...
"On the other hand, resistances will be there. This same teacher who disagreed with the curriculum but used it, also was partially subverting it in interesting ways."
Chosen by Tracy Blue & Paulina Whitehat
"The growth of behavior modification techniques and classroom management strategies and their incorporation within curricular material and teachers' repertoires signify these kinds of alterations. As teachers lose control of the curricular and pedagogic skills to large publishing houses, these skills are replaced by techniques for better controlling students". p114.
Chosen by Becky Crowe
"In this essay, I will be particularly interested in curricular form, not curricular content. My focus will not be on what is actually taught, but on the manner in which it is organized. As a number of Marxist cultural analysts have argued, the workings of ideology can be seen most impressively at the level of form as well as what the form has in it." p109
Chosen by Max Skorodinsky
"The loss of control can progress in a relatively unthreatening way; deskilling and , progressive anonymization and rationalization, the transformation of educational work, somehow seem less consequential than such economic concerns as job security, salary, etc., even though they may seem to us to clearly be part of the same dynamic" (end of second full paragraph on page 123).
Chosen by Kyle Reardon
"While the work of critical theorists and American Indian intellectuals shares a measure of common ground, namely, the shared rage against the inequities of the existing system, there are also significant points of tension that need to be examined. A formal, collective analysis of these tensions and intersections may be the best beginning in working to define a critical Indigenous theory of liberation".
Chosen by Tracy Blue
Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois agreed that professional black teachers were the vanguard of the movement for black liberation. They shared a belief that the professional expertise of black teachers was rooted in the lived experiences of black children. ‘The proper education of any people,’ writes Du Bois (1934), ‘includes knowledge on the part of the teacher, not simply of the individual taught, but of his surroundings and background, and the history of his class and group. (p. 79)
Chosen by Paulina Whitehat
"At this moment, there are new high profile representatives of ‘radical reform’ in-and-around the educational sphere such as Wendy Kopp, founder of private, non-professional teacher recruitment agency Teach For America, the anti-tenure, pro-charter, ex-superintendent Michelle Rhee, and head of the nationally celebrated Harlem Children Zone charter school, Geoffrey Canada. Yet the internal logics of schooling remain the same as they ever were: success as defined by efficiency and effectiveness in producing human capital while maintaining racial and class divides, effectively facilitating the logics of empire building. The state has outsourced responsibility for carrying out its civic duties..." (end of page 71).
Chosen by Connor McCroskey
"...it must be stated that this endless tendency to reinvent titles for disabled people is characteristic of a vacuous humanism which seeks to emphasise [sic] a "human commonality" over the material reality of oppression" (p. 182)
"This abnormality is something we share with women, black, elderly, gay and lesbian people, in fact the majority of the population" (p. 182)
Chosen by McKensie Meline
“When one vision is emphasized, alternative visions are often suppressed…An important postmodern insight is that truth and power are interrelated (Foucault, 1980)…if it is regarded as true that emotional problems are caused by biochemical anomalies, this perspective will automatically stifle alternative conceptualizations of emotional problems. Claims to truth, then, are inextricably linked to power.” (Hansen, 2006, p. 159)
Chosen by Darien Combs
"The notion of reducing curriculum to a set of skills is not unimportant since it is part of the larger process by which the logic of capital helps build identities and transforms cultural meanings and practices into commodities" (second full paragraph, p.119).
Chosen by Nike Derosia.