I really think that finding myself before — I choose to investigate how to integrate these ideas into the way in which I educate others. Hence, the Dai (1996) reading spoke to me. It is the way I will develop my project.
Dei, G. (1996). Chapter four: The intersections of race, class and gender in the anti-racism discourse. In Anti-racism education: theory and practice (pp. 55-74). Halifax, Nova Scotia: Fernwood Publishing.
The conventional “identity politics” prioritized an essentialized, ahistorical and nonmaterialist identity (Fuss 1989). Train (1995) argues that “identity politics” eliminated the political by focusing too much on the personal. It is important for the distinction to be made between the “who am I?” and “what is to be done” (Bourne 1987: 1)? These two questions are connected. One needs to know the self in order to engage in political action. But change cannot happen simply by knowing oneself. We have to find answers to the questions, “what is to be done, and how?”
Integrative anti-racism is a critical analysis of how current understandings of the dynamics of social difference relate to issues of identity and subjectivity.
Integrative anti-racism does not see the self as that which other is not. Human experiences are dialectically shaped by questions of social difference, by history and by socio-political contexts. The existence of multiple identities has some significance for how individuals live their lives and relate to each other in society, and how individuals come to understand society and work collectively for change.
Both authors call for self-reflective critique and validation of personal experiences of the relational aspects of difference as part of the process of creating theoretical and practical knowledge for social transformation. Individuals must be able to articulate and critically reflect upon their own experiences and their accumulated personal knowledge about the workings of the inner self and questions of identity, in order to work collectively for change (see also hooks 1993, 1994).
the third issue concerns developing an understanding of how differential power and privilege work in society. The study of dynamics of social difference is also a study of differential power relations. Power relations are embedded in social relations of difference. Thus, an understanding of the intersections of difference is more than a preparedness to hear each other out.
For change to take place, integrative anti-racism discourse and practice must be grounded in people’s actual material conditions. The political, communicative and educational practices of integrative anti-racism call for people to work together to develop a “community of differences”; that is, a community in which our differences help to strengthen us collectively to develop some degree of a shared commitment to justice and social transformation. Social transformation is possible when solidarity is understood to mean constructing coalitions among and between difference, and coalitions come to openly defined terms of relations of power (see Joyve 1995b). Without a doubt, struggles against race, class, gender, and sexuality discrimination generate distinct versions of what justice should look like (see Troyna and Vincent 1995). But the goal of coalition building is to educate each other so that there is, or can be, a common view of justice. The struggle against injustice implies a struggle for justice. We cannot, as a society, choose to ignore injustice.
… there is always the temptation to prioritize race and overlook the embedded inequalities which flow from class, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexuality and religious and language disparities, many of which are refracted through the official and hidden curriculum of the school and society.