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Currículo sem Fronteiras
 A journal for a critical and emancipatory education   ISSN 1645-1384

Can the subaltern act? African American involvement in educational voucher plans

Thomas C. Pedroni

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In this essay I renovate critical educational theorist Michael Apple’s arguments concerning conservative modernization, making them more resonant with processes of identity formation and subaltern agency evident in research with working class and poor Black voucher families in the United States. Based on conceptual and empirical findings, I theorize pro-voucher Black politicians, community leaders, and poor and working class families as representative of a subaltern ‘third force’ in conservative formation. Their tactical investments in fleeting conservative alliances and subject positions, I argue, are likely to play an increasingly significant role in educational and social reform both in the United States and elsewhere. To the degree that such subalternly negotiated alliances are a harbinger of a direction that conservative modernization might increasingly take, this renovation should assist critical educators—along with other critical cultural workers and social actors—in better understanding and contesting post-welfarism in education and beyond.


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