By Philip Wexler
First released in 1992. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.
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Extra info for Becoming somebody : toward a social psychology of school
Student: If anything it is looser. Philip: How so? could you give me an example? Student: The hall policy when I was a freshman was really strictly enforced. I got detention a couple of times. Now you can walk along the hall and most teachers, except for maybe one or two… Philip: But there has been alot of talk about tightening up the hall policy. Have you heard that? Student: A lot of talk, yeah. there has always been alot of talk. Second student: Yeah, well for the most part, they don’t enforce the hall policy these days.
That’s the most important thing—that’s what they’re concerned with the most is whether the kid is behaving’. Even as teachers describe their own self-protective withdrawal, their ritual adaptation to a rationalized emptying of the committed pedagogic relation which they valued in their earliest teaching BECOMING SOMEBODY: TOWARD A SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY OF SCHOOL 39 days, they indicate the need for caring relations as the basis for teaching. Teacher: I don’t know. I know that for them to learn, you provide comfort for them and they’ll learn.
Students, as we shall see in a moment, say they don’t care also because they believe (or at least some say that they do) that it is THEM—and not a self-protective ritual defense against the SYSTEM that doesn’t care—who the teachers don’t care about. And, of course, ‘If they don’t give a shit about me, why should I give a shit about them or about what they have to say’. My difference with Habermas is that rationality or undistorted communication is, in this instance, not firstly a matter of creating linguistic conditions for rational argument or ideal speech (although Habermasians, will claim of course, these social preconditions are just precisely what they mean).