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Rhodes, Matthew (2013) COUNTERING ASOCIAL JUSTICE: CONSUMER CULTURE, STANCE AND A CARTOGRAPHY OF ENCOUNTER. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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In Social Foundations classrooms, social justice approaches to questions of difference are certainly part of the curriculum. After teaching numerous Social Foundations courses, I encountered several issues related to the way rigid identity categories were complemented by neoliberal narratives that seemed to limit class conversation in troubling ways—particularly in that students had a difficult time articulating a sense of connection with others beyond their circles of acquaintances. This dissertation is an exploration of how I might resolve some of those dilemmas.
I problematize the neoliberal subject position as it relates to questions of social justice, and offer that a relational approach to others may be a useful counter. Inspired by several scholars who address theoretical relational curricular possibilities, I designed a course using a consumer culture approach to constructing Other as a conceptual lens through which to begin talking about difference.
Using student data from that class, I introduce stance analysis as a way to interpret the data in terms of the ways students either reinscribed or interrupted a sense of neoliberal relationality. Finally, using the methodological approach of social cartography, I created a map wherein students could plot their encounters across difference.
This map is intended as a pedagogical heuristic that could be used to destabilize a self-possessed and individualistic neoliberal sense of self. To this end, the map is oriented toward an approach to self and Other that is contingent, ongoing and contextually mediated. I explore the pedagogical implications of the map and suggest that such approaches may be useful for better understanding how we are relationally constituted. I argue that entering social justice conversations from this vantage point may avoid some of the trappings of rigid identity categories without resorting to commonsense neoliberal narratives.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Rhodes, Matthewmar23@pitt.eduMAR23
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorGunzenhauser, Michael
Committee MemberGarman, Noreen
Committee MemberNicholson-Goodman, JoVictoria
Committee MemberClarke, Lynn
Date: 30 August 2013
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 24 April 2013
Approval Date: 30 August 2013
Submission Date: 15 August 2013
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 203
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: neoliberalism social cartography difference
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2013 19:14
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:14


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