12 May 2021

Collins and Bilge—(Young) Bolsheviks in the Bathroom

Intersectionality (2016)
Patricia Hill Collins and Sirma Bilge

p. 167—schools as "important venues for youth activism," because "that's where they spend their time"

Indeed, they presently spend virtually all of their time there, which forces the channelization of all kinds of impluses into the School life, most of them only rather uncomfortably. This takes the longer-standing suspicion of youthful rebellion by adults and adds the more basic grounds for skepticism that so much such rebellion is so obviously of limited scope. The element of sequestration is, if not more pressing than the issues raised by Freire, certainly more basic and expansive. That is to say that even with an ideal "critical" education, no student can possibly develop evenly if they are sequestered. This has nothing to do with school failing to reflect the Real World; school should not reflect the Real World quite so thoroughly, but nor should students be holed up in one airless corner of it to the extent that the discussion of youth activism necessitates accounting for the peculiar form of their location. It is an unfortunate (and one hopes unintended) consequence of the focus on expanding access that this side of the discussion is more or less beyond the pale for most of the Left. What are we expanding access to? The fact that student activism has a sociological literature devoted to it is one big cue to ask that question.

[from a post-it, late 2017]

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