4 stories that are all pretty good. The last two, I think, are the best. All four center around a character who has some problem connecting with other4 stories that are all pretty good. The last two, I think, are the best. All four center around a character who has some problem connecting with others, so in a sense, they're pretty typical stories of disconnect, but they're well told with pretty good artwork. I think I had the last one elsewhere, perhaps Optic Nerve, Tomine's comic/zine....more
In Pedagogy of Freedom (1998), Paulo Freire builds on his theories of critical pedagogy to promote the autonomy of students and to critique and fightIn Pedagogy of Freedom (1998), Paulo Freire builds on his theories of critical pedagogy to promote the autonomy of students and to critique and fight against neoliberalism and its cynical stance toward the future (22). He is adamant that an act of teaching must also involve an act of learning (Chapter 2). He also expands on his notions of the unfinished human, stating that "this unfinishedness is essential to our human condition" (52), and that the future is made through trial and error (54)....more
Retold in fairy tale language for a class assignment
In a distant past, there existed a feudal society, and in this society, there was not yet a publicRetold in fairy tale language for a class assignment
In a distant past, there existed a feudal society, and in this society, there was not yet a public sphere. In fact, public referred to nobility, and everyone else was common (6). However, with the rise of capitalism and the bourgeois class came the commercial trade in news (15), and a public sphere began to emerge between the private sphere of life and the government (23). This public sphere was composed of the bourgeoisie, mostly male property owners, who used reason to debate public issues (27-29). In western Europe and America, these citizens engaged in dialogue in coffee shops, newspapers, and letters — that is, they debated in largely private spaces that created publics. Public opinion began to develop, but this wasn’t the public opinion we conceive of today: instead, it was formed through public debate, not through polling or other more modern mechanisms (66).
An aim of the public sphere was to abolish the domination of the state, and constitutional governments were set up to connect the law to public opinion (81-82). A central value of the bourgeois public sphere was inclusiveness — that as the bourgeoisie grew, so too would access to the public sphere. However, as the public enlarged, public opinion changed from the result of ongoing dialogue to a coercive force (133). This is largely because as the liberal state became a welfare state, it encroached on the private lives of people, or “stateized” society (142); the public sphere became less politicized (140). In part, this was caused as economic struggles became political struggles, and the state began to protect families and individuals, through education, workers’ rights laws, and welfare (155). Consumer culture also arose, so that a debating public sphere was replaced by an advertising public sphere; public debate became administered and consumed (164). The state began to “‘address’ its citizens like consumers” (195). Public opinion and propaganda began to be used in order to gain good will and justify legislation (177). The public sphere became “refeudalized” by the state and others looking to gain publicity.
The bourgeois public sphere has since passed away, and in its stead we have the modern notions of public opinion and publicity, as well as private individuals not engaged in a public, rational debate. Good bye, dear bourgeois public sphere. You are missed....more
In The Abandoned Generation: Democracy beyond the Culture of Fear (2003), Henry A. Giroux argues “that the United States is at war with young people”In The Abandoned Generation: Democracy beyond the Culture of Fear (2003), Henry A. Giroux argues “that the United States is at war with young people” who “have become the all important group onto which class and racial anxieties are projected” (xvi). Giroux writes that, “Instead of providing them with vibrant public spheres, we offer them a commercialized culture in which consumerism is the only obligation of citizenship” (xviii).
Giroux believes that educational public spheres are the places where students can inspect the past and open up new possibilities for the future (9): “Educators need to provide spaces of resistance within the public schools and the university that take seriously what it means to educate students to question authority, recall what is forgotten or ignored, and make connections that are otherwise hidden” (40-41).
Educators must teach critical literacy, which is not just about training to be critical consumers, but also “offering them [students:] the knowledge, skills, and tools to recognize when the new technologies and media serve as either a force for enlarging democracy or when they shut it down” (39).
Since the 1980s, but especially after September 11, 2001, neoliberalism and a culture of fear have controlled our politics, causing a crisis of democracy. Youth have been the target of this fear, through advertising, movies, media portrayal of violence, and political rhetoric; “youth prompts in the public imagination a rhetoric of fear, control, and surveillance” (xvii). Neoliberalism is dangerous because of a) its central tenet that market relations define social and public life (32), b) “commercialization, privatization, and the creation of a worldwide economy of part-time workers” (35), c) the elimination of public spaces, and difficulty of relating private problems within public concerns (35), and d) the depoliticization of life through the creation of cynicism (119)....more
Robinson knows how to play with your sympathy with this one. I found myself alternating between compassion and disdain for some of the central charactRobinson knows how to play with your sympathy with this one. I found myself alternating between compassion and disdain for some of the central characters, but ultimately, I think Robinson puts your emotions where he wants them. The book has a climactic ending that doesn't disappoint....more