Ethnic Identity and Power: Cultural Contexts of Political Action in School and Society

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Yali Zou, Enrique T. Trueba, Henry T. Trueba
SUNY Press, 1998 - Social Science - 452 pages
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The relationship between ethnic identity and power has important consequences in a modern world that is changing rapidly through global immigration trends. Studies of ethnic/racial conflict of ethnic identity and power become necessarily studies of political power, social status, school achievement, and allocation of resources. The recognition of power by an ethnic group, however, creates a competition for control and a rivalry for power over public arenas, such as schools.

In this context this book provides interesting and important insights into the dilemmas faced by immigrants and members of ethnic groups, by school personnel, and by policy makers. The first part of the book consists of comparative studies of ethnic identity. The second part focuses directly on some of the lessons learned from social science research on ethnic identification and the critical study of equity, with its implications for pedagogy. An interdisciplinary group of scholars offers profoundly honest and stimulating accounts of their struggles to decipher self-identification processes in various political contexts, as well as their personal reflections on the study of ethnicity.

A powerful message emerges that invites reflection about self-identification processes, and that allows a deeper understanding of the empowering consequences of a clear and strong personal, cultural, ethnic, and social identity. These pages offer a keen grasp of the undeniable political contexts of education.


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Page 16 - was defined by Vygotsky as the distance between a child's “actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving” and the higher level of “potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers
Page 1 - One of the tasks of the progressive educator, through a serious correct political analysis, is to unveil opportunities for hope, no matter what the obstacles may be. After all, without hope there is little we can do. It will be hard to struggle on, and when we fight as hopeless or despairing persons, our struggle will be suicidal.

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About the author (1998)

Yali Zou is Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Cultural Studies and Director of the Asian American Studies Center at the University of Houston.

Enrique T. Trueba is Professor and Executive Co-Director of the Institute for Urban Education at the University of Houston.

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