Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

We know who you are! Connecting education, identity, and national security
by Torres, Eric D., Ph.D., The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2010, 154; 3403776
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation is a critical analysis of the way in which individuality is socially constructed and of the pattern in which the majority of the population is socially integrated, mobilized, and immobilized during the process of systemic reproduction. Assessing that the political project contained in the U.S. National Security strategy models coercion in service of individual self-assertion as it seeks to open societies and favors an expansion towards a new frontier, this study examines the pedagogical experience embedded in such a war scenario, the various discourses of security, and the implications of the confiscation of our moral responsibility, extrapolating its consequences into curriculum theory. The main problem explored is to what extent the state should be allowed, as state, to intervene in the process of interpretation through which each of us is supposed to build an identity. The educational, ethical, and political questions related to this shaping process are: What kind of personal identities can this kind of blueprint generate? What kind of impact does this social engineering experiment have on our experience as autonomous individuals? And finally, is there any possibility of unhinging questioning or dialogical space?

Bricolage is used to explore the issues at hand, de-center our thoughts, and decenter the way we think. By juxtaposing multiples frames of inquiry and understanding of the social, cultural, political, psychological, and educational domains attention is drawn toward processes, relationships, and interconnections among phenomena using hermeneutics, semiotics, media analysis, historical and literary analysis, technological and theoretical analysis, psychoanalysis, vignettes, and currere as an invitation to connect the pieces of a multidimensional puzzle in a pedagogical effort to redescribe reality and confront the linearity of objectivity.

The understanding of curriculum as a process of social construction results here in the validation of the use of the study of limits as an effective strategy to get at the unmarked criteria that work to dismiss as irrelevant or valorize as relevant a particular mode of thought, field of study, or insistence upon the real. It also works as a powerful methodology to challenge our ability to represent and self-represent and as a generator of democratic treats for an educated citizenry. This study concludes with a consideration of how unhinging questioning belongs to Education and Schools of Education, how they legitimate particular beliefs while delegitimizing others, and a call for educators to facilitate a democratic, self-limiting, and morally responsive experience of schooling.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hudak, Glenn M.
Commitee: Gause, Charles P., Leila, Villaverde E., Shapiro, Svi
School: The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Department: School of Education: Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations
School Location: United States -- North Carolina
Source: DAI-A 71/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational sociology, Curriculum development, Education philosophy
Keywords: Bricolage, Critical pedagogy, Curriculum development, Identity, National security
Publication Number: 3403776
ISBN: 978-1-109-77514-3
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