EDUC 853: Identity and Meaning in the Negotiation of Educational Situations (W08)

Queen's University

Professor: James Scott Johnston
Office # A318 Duncan McArthur Hall
Phone #: 78395
Email address:

Course Description:

Culture is seen as the negotiation of meaning among personal and community experiences, between schooling and community, and among cultures in contact. This course explores the implication of cultural perspectives for communication and the negotiation of educational situations.

Our focus will be on the issue of recognition and its relation to personal and social identity. Most theorists in the past 200 years agree that recognition of the other is essential for the development of the self, and vice-versa. But what does recognition mean? Is it a question of harmony? Or conflict? Is it benign or violent? Is it reciprocal, mutual, or one-sided? What does it look like in individual, social, cultural, and political contexts? What does education have to do with recognition and why (if it does have something to do with recognition) should we ‘cultivate’ this? The question of the relationship between recognition on the one hand, and the identity of self on the other, is our launching pad

We will examine quite a few authors representing several different perspectives. The perspectives are 1) Post-Kantian Idealist, 2) Socio-functional and Symbolic interactionist, 3) Marx, neo-Marxist, and Critical-Theoretic 4) Post-structuralism, and finally, 5) Multiculturalism and he politics of Recognition.

Among the authors we will look at are, G.W.F. Hegel, John Dewey, G.H. Mead, Irving Goffman, Karl Marx, Theodor Adorno, Jacques Derrida, G.C. Spivak, Pierre Bordieu and Jean-Claude Passeron, Charles Taylor, Paul Willis, Michael Apple, Henry Giroux, Maria Papastephanou, Jane Roland Martin, Luce Irigaray, and Magda Lewis.



Faculty of Education

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000