Docile citizens? Using counternarratives to disrupt normative and dominant discourses

Walsh, Christopher S. (2012) Docile citizens? Using counternarratives to disrupt normative and dominant discourses. In: Soler, Janet, Walsh, Christopher S., Craft, Anna, Rix, Jonathan, and Simmons, Katy, (eds.) Transforming practice: critical issues in equity, diversity and education. Thentham Books, Stoke on Trent, UK, pp. 125-135.

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The nursery rhyme, 'Sticks and bones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me' is widely recognisable. But is it true? I contend that it is not. As Toni Morrison reminds us, words hurt. Words mean something. Consider how you might feel if you were called a liar when you told the truth. It does hurt to be called names. It hurts to be bullied and excluded because you have been labelled or set apart and called ugly, fat, stupid, lazy, old, homeless, illiterate, gay, disabled and so on. To be called names, or be labelled, is a form of 'othering' that is dis empowering and oppressive. To label another person adversely is careless and insensitive. Negative labels often stay with children and young people for the rest of their lives. Labelling often leads people into believing they are incapable and powerless. Conversely, labelling excuses - even encourages - some individuals to participate in destructive behaviour that upholds certain deficit, racist and homophobic views of the individual. Hurtful labels from careless poiticians, parents, relatives, practitioners or teachers are harmful to everyone, especially youth. Name calling and labelling others is a practice that must be rejected and redressed by practitioners working with children and young people. But it is so entrenched in the taken -for-granted and everyday practices of many powerful people, that a formidable strategy is needed to expose the violence oppressive language represents and validates - with the aim of altering it.

Item ID: 47897
Item Type: Book Chapter (Teaching Material)
ISBN: 978-1-85856-516-3
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Whole book record #43575

Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2017 02:30
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130205 Humanities and Social Sciences Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl Economics, Business and Management) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930201 Pedagogy @ 100%
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