By Jennifer Seibel Trainor
In Rethinking Racism: Emotion, Persuasion, and Literacy schooling in an All-White highschool, Jennifer Seibel Trainor proposes a brand new knowing of the roots of racism, one who is predicated on recognition to the position of emotion and the dynamics of persuasion. This one-year ethnographic research argues opposed to earlier assumptions approximately racism, demonstrating in its place how rhetoric and emotion, in addition to the approaches and tradition of faculties, are enthusiastic about the formation of racist beliefs.Telling the tale of a 12 months spent in an all-white highschool, Trainor means that opposite to triumphing opinion, racism frequently doesn't stem from lack of know-how, a scarcity of publicity to different cultures, or the will to guard white privilege. fairly, the motives of racism are often present in the geographical regions of emotion and language, in place of rational calculations of privilege or political ideologies. Trainor keeps that racist assertions usually originate now not from prejudiced attitudes or ideals yet from metaphorical connections among racist rules and nonracist values. those values are bolstered, even promoted by way of education through "emotioned principles" in position in study rooms: in tacit, unexamined classes, rituals, and practices that exert a powerful—though mostly unacknowledged—persuasive strength on scholar emotions and ideology approximately race.Through in-depth research of verified anti-racist pedagogies, pupil habit, and racial discourses, Trainor illustrates the style during which racist rules are subtly upheld via social and literacy schooling within the classroom—and are hence embedded within the infrastructures of colleges themselves. it's the emotional and rhetorical framework of the school room that lends racism its compelling energy within the minds of scholars, whilst academics pastime to handle the difficulty of cultural discrimination. This attempt is consistently hindered through an incomplete knowing of the functionality of feelings relating to antiracist persuasion and can't be remedied till the basis of the matter is addressed.Rethinking Racism demands a clean method of knowing racism and its explanations, providing the most important perception into the formative function of education within the perpetuation of discriminatory ideals. moreover, this hugely readable narrative attracts from white scholars' personal tales in regards to the meanings of race of their studying and their lives. It hence presents new methods of brooding about how researchers and academics rep- resent whiteness. mixing narrative with extra conventional varieties of ethnographic research, Rethinking Racism uncovers the ways that buildings of racism originate in literacy study and in our classrooms—and how those buildings themselves can restrict the rhetorical positions scholars enact.
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Extra resources for Rethinking Racism: Emotion, Persuasion, and Literacy Education in an All-White High School
This engagement is particularly important in an ethnographic account of race, where overdetermined narratives, characters, and plots already abound. To open up those meanings to further scrutiny, I played with order and sequence throughout the book, in its overall organization (chronological) and in its emphasis on originating points, motives, and causes. I also played with time by juxtaposing moments rendered in different genres: at times I employ the narrative techniques of creative nonﬁction; at other times I give large chunks of text over to students’ stories told in their own voices.
In developmental models, persuading a student to see race differently requires an intervention in the student’s consciousness, something that it is hoped can be achieved by a sequenced series of exposures to difference and to new ideas. But this model overlooks a crucial aspect of the process of persuasion: what Lindquist (2002) calls the public dimension of persuasion, how ideas get taken up, changed, and incorporated into social groups, recursively, over time. Chronology and time became important to me for a number of reasons as I thought about the students at Laurel Canyons and about the notions of race and persuasion at the center of this book.
It suggests, for example, that troubling racism sometimes exists alongside staunch objection to racism. It suggests that antiracism, like racism itself, can be just as powerfully used to gain class privilege, to locate someone in hierarchical socioeconomic terrain. It suggests that antiracism can serve as a marker of class distinction. In this sense, the subject of Laura’s parents’ argument in her story is not about racial others at all but about the status of Laura’s uncle, the “wrong side of the family,” and about how best to teach their daughter so that she remains in the right class.