Chapter

The Intersection of Race, Class, and Gender in Jesuit and Feminist Education: Finding Transcendent Meaning in the Concrete

M. Shawn Copeland

in Jesuit and Feminist Education

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780823233311
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823241743 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823233311.003.0008
The Intersection of Race, Class, and Gender in Jesuit and Feminist Education: Finding Transcendent Meaning in the Concrete

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This chapter analyzes the terms “Jesuit” and “feminist” to explore their commonalities and interrogate what we mean by them. It considers the impact of social context on the structure of higher education and, more broadly, on the social arrangement of class privilege and racial coding within the United States. It explores the ways that a Jesuit and feminist education might begin to redress the systemic inequalities of class, race, and gender. These class divisions and the process of racial formation, including the romanticization of race as “essence” and “the unconscious persistence of racism in the post-civil rights era,” have obscured our understanding of the need for social change. A critical pedagogy that attends to particular historical, cultural, and social contexts resists the tendency to make the experience of individuals abstract and generalized, instead fostering a “concrete” understanding of “transcendent” matters. By nurturing an “Eros of the mind, the passionate desire and drive to know,” Jesuit and feminist approaches to teaching implicitly raise awareness of the structural inequalities that permeate society and encourage a more sensitive response to the need for change.

Keywords: Jesuit; feminist; social context; higher education; class privilege; racial coding; inequality; social change

Chapter.  4954 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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