Proceedings Journal Article — Commentary: Pedagogy and Praxis in the International Sphere — by Rajini Srikanth

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Abstract

What is common to all the presentations on the second panel is that they encourage attention to the particularities of diverse sociocultural and political spaces and caution against hasty and unexamined applications of compelling theories and practices that have proved their usefulness and value in specific contexts. For instance, Freirean and Marxist pedagogy and Habermasian notions of civil society—while inspirational and potentially transformative—and grand narratives of modernism versus anti-modernism—while offering a convenient method of cataloging thecomplexities of diverse cultures—may come into conflict with the specific structural realities of the locations charted by the panelists. These locations include Japan in the 1920s and 1930s; post-independence India (newly liberated from British Rule); Quincy, MA, where recently arrivedimmigrants to the United States attempt to become culturally adept so as to leverage their chances for economic success; Guinea Bissau and CapeVerde in the colonial period under Portuguese rule; and Islamic societies in the Middle East and Asia in the current historical period. These essaysrequire that we look closely at the realities on the ground before we succumb to the seduction of generalized liberatory praxes or world-explainingtheories.

Recommended Citation

Srikanth, Rajini. 2004. “Commentary: Pedagogy and Praxis in the International Sphere.” Pp. 109-112 in Liberating Social Theory: Inspirations from Paulo Freire for Learning, Teaching, and Advancing Social Theory in Applied Settings: Proceedings of the First Annual Social Theory Forum, April 7, 2004, UMass Boston (Discourse of Sociological Practice, Vol. 6, Issues 2, Fall 2004). Issue Guest Editor: Mohammad H. Tamdgidi. Sociology Department, UMass Boston.

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