Publication Date: July 28, 2017
Series: Multicultural Education Series
How do socially constructed concepts of race dominate and limit understandings and practices of multicultural education? Since race is socially constructed, how do we deconstruct it?
In this important book Mahiri argues that multicultural education needs to move beyond racial categories defined and sustained by the ideological, social, political, and economic forces of white supremacy. Exploring contemporary and historical scholarship on race, the emergence of multiculturalism, and the rise of the digital age, the author investigates micro-cultural practices and provides a compelling framework for understanding the diversity of individuals and groups.
Descriptions and analysis from ethnographic interviews reveal how people’s continually evolving, highly distinctive, micro-cultural identities and affinities provide understandings of diversity not captured within assigned racial categories.
Synthesizing the scholarship and interview findings, the final chapter connects the play of micro-cultures in people’s lives to a needed shift in how multicultural education uses race to frame and comprehend diversity and identity and provides pedagogical examples of how this shift can look in teaching practices.
Jabari Mahiri is a professor of education and the William and Mary Jane Brinton Family Chair in Urban Teaching at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to his work with the Multicultural Urban Secondary English Program and the Bay Area Writing Project, he is on the board of the National Writing Project and also a board member of the American Educational Research Association, 2014 through 2017.
“Jabari Mahiri’s superb Deconstructing Race is the best modern book on multiculturalism in education. More than that, it can be the beginning of a vital transformation of the field and of our views about diversity.”
—James Paul Gee, Mary Lou Fulton Presidential Professor of Literacy Studies, Regents’ Professor, Arizona State University
"Altering the immutable, degenerative concepts of race that perpetuate impenetrable boundaries among "racialized" groups and myths of underachievement about people of color requires a seismic catalyst grounded in irrefutable research and inspirational evidence. Deconstructing Race is that seismic catalyst, providing the potential alchemy for an American narrative of racial promise yet unrealized."
—Yvette Jackson, chief executive officer of the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education
"Brilliant and thought-provoking, Deconstructing Race makes a compelling case for addressing societal inequalities by changing how we think about race. This groundbreaking book is a must-read for scholars of race and education, and for those seeking to better support the learning and development of youth."
—Na'ilah Suad Nasir, Vice Chancellor of Equity & Inclusion, UC Berkeley
2018 Prose Award in Education Theory, Honorable Mention