American Sociological Association

Pedagogy: Teaching and Learning about Settler-colonial Racism: A Case for “Unsettling” Minoritizing and Multicultural Perspectives

This article contributes to emerging efforts to decolonize race-based approaches and antiracist pedagogies in sociology. Building on recent scholarship on settler colonialism and decolonization as well as her experiences of being unsettled, the author discusses the limitations of her critical sociological toolkit for understanding and teaching about the cultural violence associated with “Indian” sport mascots. By discussing an active-learning writing assignment and students’ work from an online course in sport and society, the author argues for sociologists to go beyond frameworks that conceptualize American Indians as a racial or ethnic group seeking greater inclusion in a multicultural nation and consider ongoing settler colonialism that structures U.S. society. The author contends that adding land back into sociological frameworks will help make visible legitimized racism and the cultural logic of elimination and replacement of Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island. To conclude, the author advocates for instructors to be critically self-reflective and to use sociology classrooms as sites of decolonization.


Cynthia Fabrizio Pelak





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