Group Membership, Identity in Education and the Social Justice Imperative.

By:
Prof Sheron Fraser-Burgess
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Recent work in the nature of group membership (Gilbert 1986, 1994) and group belief (Schmitt, 1994) has provided a strong case for the integrity of the group over and above that of the individual. Groups entail a joint commitment on the part of the group members and group beliefs are claims that are openly accepted by the group members as beliefs of the group. The nature of group membership has implications for education. For ascriptive groups, group members take on the group identity to the extent that group members assent to group beliefs. In the extant scholarship about ascriptive groups in education, much has been made of the imperative of fair treatment for members of marginalized groups. Imbuing the education discourse with the epithets of social philosophy is instructive and informative. First appealing to the notion of group identity sheds light on the rationality of privileging group beliefs even if they would be considered prejudicial and points the way to engaging members of both marginalized and mainstream groups with rational evaluation of their beliefs. Second the template of social philosophy highlights the moral obligation to take culture into account in providing culturally-relevant curriculum.


Keywords: Group Membership, Identity, Education
Stream: Education and Social Welfare
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Prof Sheron Fraser-Burgess

Assistant Professor, Ball State University
Muncie, Florida, USA

Sheron Fraser-Burgess currently teaches in the Social Foundations department of Ball State University Teachers College. Her research focus is on the nature of identity group membership and in particular how such a membership shapes group identity. Other reseach interests also include the compatibility of democracy with substantive multiculturalism and the epistemology of group beliefs.

Ref: I06P0486