Showing posts from April 25, 2021

Blogbook -- Racist Hegemony And the Language Choices We Make

Entry 17 Vico’s common sense and Marxism’s dialectic help us understand racist discourse as a dialectic that is both language and logos and material practices and decisions, all of which are accomplished in the world around us. These two aspects of racist discourse reinforce each other. Being a mutually reinforcing dialectic means that racist discourse is racist common sense, which also means racism is systemic, or structural in our world, work, and lives.  To really take advantage of what Marxian theory offers, we shouldn’t stop with classical Marxism. Theorists such as Antonio Gramsci, reconsidered the classical Marxist dialectic. He explained that actually both the base and superstructure operate simultaneously, influencing each other. You cannot consider one before the other, as classical Marxism did -- that is, everything sprang out of the material base. So for Gramsci and others the dialectic of base (material conditions and outcomes) and superstructure (language about and reflec

Blogbook -- Racism as Common Sense

Entry 16 Allow me to back up from my previous posts and take yet another run at defining racist discourse for literacy teachers and classrooms. I’ve taken several runs at the concept in the last two weeks or so. It’s a boat ( entries 7 and 8 ). It’s a field ( entry 10 ). It’s a discourse that is a tautology ( entry 15 ). I’ve even called it an equation ( entry 14 ). But through all these different ways to understand racist discourse is the idea that it works often from common sense that circulates freely in society, literature, our language practices, and of course, our classrooms and their standard operating procedures. So let’s think more carefully about common sense .  If half of what I’ve said up to this point is accurate, then racist discourse is in much of our common sense -- that is, the stuff we say and make decisions from, the stories we tell about each other, the euphemisms, the jokes, the logics that work around us all the time. And since we take these ideas and language as