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This article argues that neoliberalism is a critical public issue influencing the apparently private troubles of college students and teachers. For example, earning a college degree has become ever more important for success; yet, because of declining state support for public education, students are taking on extraordinary levels of debt. As a result, learning is being pushed aside by vocational and other considerations that result from neoliberal policy imperatives.
Effectively teaching sociological theories to undergraduate students is challenging. Students often enroll in theory courses due to major requirements, not personal interest. Consequently, many students approach the study of theory with anxiety. This study examined the effectiveness of an experiential learning activity designed to teach Karl Marx’s theory of alienation. Based on pretest/posttest surveys, responses to open-ended questions, and observational data, students reported that the activity helped them gain a clearer understanding of Marx.
This article uses data drawn from nine months of fieldwork and student, teacher, and administrator interviews at a southern high school to analyze school racial conflict and the construction of racism. We find that institutional inequalities that stratify students by race and class are routinely ignored by school actors who, we argue, use the presence of so-called redneck students to plausibly deny racism while furthering the standard definition of racism as blatant prejudice and an individual trait.
Teaching about Race and Ethnicity: Trying to Uncover White Privilege for a White Audience