'Doesn't my experience count?' White students, the authority of experience and social justice pedagogy

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23 Scopus citations


Social justice pedagogy appeals to experience as a form of empowerment and as a starting-point for working collaboratively in the diverse classroom. However, taking experience as unmediated and as an authoritative source of knowledge can function in ways that are counterproductive to the aims of social justice education. This essay examines the presumed authority of experience through a discussion of a debate around the meaning of 'experience' in feminist thought. Social justice educators, the author argues, must focus attention on how the subjective understanding of experience is mediated by politics, power and ideology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-414
Number of pages10
JournalRace Ethnicity and Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 8 2008



  • Experience
  • Feminist theory
  • Social justice pedagogy
  • Whiteness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education

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