Education Graduate Students' Society at McGill University

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cultural capital; ablism/ disablism; allyship

posted Sep 10, 2012 by rosalind.hampton

Yosso, T.J. (2005). Whose culture has capital? A critical race theory discussion of community cultural wealth. Race Ethnicity and Education 8(1), 69-91.

I read this essay last year and really appreciated it. I do have some concerns about the use of the term “capital” in this context, even though the author is trying to re-assign its meaning. The author, Tara Yosso, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies. University of California, Santa Barbara.
What do you think?

Also, I was recently introduced to this powerful project called “American Able” by Holly Norris:
http://hollynorris.ca/americanable#h39067524

 

JenniferGilbert said Sep 10, 2012

This is a great idea! I just visited the link to the Holly Norris series of photographs and they are very powerful, thanks for sharing, Rosalind. I’m a PhD student in DISE and I will be doing writing research into the experiences of PhD students with a variety of disabilities. Hope to meet others here who also care about valuing diversity and equity in education. As a contribution here and now, I’d like to share this link to a blog post from A.J. Withers, which argues for the term ‘Disablism’ rather than ‘Ablism’ to label the systems, discourses etc that oppress people with disabilities (since it’s really about oppression, not ‘ability’ with or without the ‘dis’!) : http://still.my.revolution.tao.ca/node/68

 

rosalind.hampton said Sep 10, 2012

What a fantastic essay Jennifer, thanks! I really appreciate the way the notion/ language of able-bodied and dis-abled-bodied is critiqued. The whole blog is so worth bookmarking- I also read the “Being an Ally” posts- so important!

“It is never the job of an ally to speak for disabled people, only with us. It is the responsibility of an ally not to take the stage but ensure that the stage has a ramp and an interpreter.”

And more on ally-ship:

“A fundamental component of being an ally is having the understanding that you don’t actually know what it is like to be part of the affected community. Even if you think you know, you really don’t. That is one of the reasons it is important to take leadership from the communities you are working with. Sometimes you won’t agree with the approach and that is okay. Sometimes you will have questions and that is okay. What isn’t okay is for you to not to bother to find out what people want or to know what people want and to do something else.”

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