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Test – Initial post for 3-24 class

So excited to talk about epistemologies of ignorance, especially as related to the traditionally-accepted body of knowledge on health and wellness!

Reflections for class March 3, 2013

While reading Bill Cross’s Rethinking Self-Hatred chapter, I am reminded of the Psychology of Racism class that I taught last semester. I asked the students to think about the doll study in a critical way – trying to identify what shortcomings there might be in the method. I was looking for people to talk about the use of the forced choice method and about what possible interpretations there could be for the dominance of the preference for the white doll. One of my students (an older African American woman) became furious. To her, questioning the validity of the doll study was an affront to the lived experiences of those black children. I wasn’t honoring their experience (in my desire to be critical). And I was invalidating the work of respected African American psychologists. The problem of black self-hatred was real to her – there was nothing that I could say that would change how she felt about the research findings – or about my own unwillingness to acknowledge experiences I couldn’t possibly understand.
The fact that the Clark’s came up with the findings they did – not only in their only publication about the doll study, but in Dark Ghetto as well – might connect to their own sense of GI (just as Lewin’s theory might represent his own GI). But, I don’t feel right saying that, as it feels as if I am pathologizing the researcher – makes me feel dirty.
On the other hand, Linda Powell Pruitt’s masterful telling of the discourse of deficit and the discourse of potential, while much more esoteric in that she uses a group dynamics framework was much easier for my students to accept. They could relate to the experience of being classified particularly through the discourse of deficit – while providing counter-stories of those seen as holding potential. This model of social construction has illuminated my thinking about my own behaviors (what am I projecting onto my students and why – what are they holding so that others are free from holding this) as well as larger social projections (what are these bad kids holding that I am observing in the courtroom? Who is freed of their delinquency because they are here – some in handcuffs and not going home to their families?) I feel that knot – as I am observing, I realize I no longer write down the race of the young people in the court – I only write it down if they aren’t black. I do, however; still write down the race of the lawyers (although they are almost all white). It is as if I were documenting the presence of the white people in the room. It is a way of writing about power, but it is insufficient.
Thinking of desire – there is much that appeals to me in this discourse – the move away from the deficit model into something that is and isn’t “wishful thinking.” When I read Eve Tuck’s article, I wrote in the margin, “this is what me and Cory were doing.” We called it gifts and framed it that way – but it holds: the reclaiming of and redefinition of a “spoiled” identity, using this reclaimed identity as a way of educating others, claiming and sharing of new knowledges, and building/extending communities. At the same time, I feel the need to develop research that might force the hand of a policy-maker. Right now, we are in the process of doing just that – fighting for the re-implementation of college in prison programs in the state of New York. The question does come to my mind – what kind of evidence will be impossible to refute for those who oppose the measure. I can think of only two – cost savings and crime reduction. Neither of these was the focus of my recent research, but I hope that the story of lives still matters.

Questions for 2/24 class

Hey All — are we posting questions for the 2/24 class with the Tuck and Powell-Pruitt readings?

Questions for the class 2/10

Please add your questions for 2/10 class by midnight Saturday or the wee hours of Sunday morning.  

Happy Birthday Alexis! (Feb 11th).

Questions for the class- -2/3

What sites of injustice are you thinking about?

Post your preliminary thoughts, ideas, inspirations

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