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In this response to “The Political Nuances of Narratives and an Urban Educator’s Response,” the authors applaud Pearman’s critical approach to deconstructing and challenging narratives of heroic figures who single-handedly change the world and agree with him that these narratives restrict the sense of agency that may propel citizens to become actively involved in social change efforts. We argue that it is important to question why these narratives exist and to understand them in light of the hegemonic capitalist structure that exploits the masses in service to the capitalist class. Although we agree with Pearman that democracy is best served by the participation of every individual in society, we question that common sense coupling of democracy and capitalism and argue that this coupling is integral to the success of the ruling class to maintain the status quo. We find his work of critical importance such that teachers may create classroom contexts that enable students not only to desire to take part in civic responsibilities but also to feel capable of making important contributions that shape society, including challenging the relations of domination across antagonisms: poverty, racism, sexism, heterosexism, et cetera.


This article was originally published in Democracy and Education, volume 24, issue 1, in 2016.

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Democracy and Education



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