Teaching, moral oppression, social construction of knowledge, schooling, total institutions, bureaucracy, gender, class, race
This thesis is both descriptive and philosophical, and at its core, it justifies the need for social foundations of education courses and programs in the university setting. It begins by analyzing the meaning of oppression and the part knowledge plays in confining the individual. The analysis then draws upon Patricia Hill Collins’ theory of intersecting oppressions to get at the complexities and restrictions of working in the public schooling institution. It works through the ways in which sexist, classist, and racist practices afflict everyone in the institution through the bureaucratic mechanism and collateral oppression. The four components that make up the wires on the cage (gender, class, race, and bureaucracy) not only confine; they cause varying degrees of direct and indirect harms (psychological, emotional, moral, financial) to those on the inside. The concept of the institutional cage is then merged with Rodman Webb’s work on schools as total institutions. Through an analysis on the characteristics of total institutions, it becomes apparent that standardization, technological developments, and the influence of venture philanthropy have brought schools more in-line with the total institution. The study then clarifies the ways in which corporatic, bureaucratic, and technocratic mentalities infect the institution, where they intersect, and how they restrict those within. The components coalesce into the conceptualization of moral oppression: the act of being coerced to ignore and suppress one’s morality, moral impulses, and moral way of knowing. The remainder of the study explores the meaning of moral action and suggests some ways educators can let go of the ways of thinking and acting that may be keeping them from confidently doing what they know to be good and just.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Graduate Studies
Office of Interdisciplinary Studies
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Graduate Studies, Graduate Studies -- Dissertations, Academic
Smith, Rebecca, "The Moral Oppression Of The Teaching Profession: Learning To Transcend" (2013). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2693.