Rightist Multiculturalism: Core Lessons on the Politics of Neoconservative School Reform
University of Wisconsin - Madison, 2006 - 241 pages
This dissertation considers why an educational reform initially developed to mediate against the multicultural "threat" has garnered wider support, including that of traditionally marginalized groups. It first charts the history of neoconservatism, which partly illuminates the blending of concerns above and below within Core. Hirsch's vision of culture and curriculum is next analyzed with a focus on how underlying assumptions, whether about cultural deficiency or democracy, appeal to unequally empowered groups. Such dynamics are further explored by tracing the growth of the Core Knowledge movement and the diverse interests and peculiar alliances that have strengthened and challenged it. History textbooks edited by Hirsch for Core schools are likewise examined. Here again, Core appeals to disparate groups by constructing a "new old history" that conditionally but more comprehensively incorporates dominant and subaltern communities in narratives of the national past.
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