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Re-imagining School Reform and Movement Making through a Feminist Politic of Resistance and Digital Storytelling

  • Author(s): Beckett, Linnea Kristina
  • Advisor(s): Glass, Ronald D;
  • Cruz, Cindy
  • et al.

This dissertation grapples with dominant ideas of school reform and social

movement making. I argue that school reform efforts that remain within the

discursive and institutional domains of schooling often reproduce social

inequities. This qualitative case study focuses on Adelante, a collaborative effort

among researchers, teachers, community leaders, and first generation Latino

parents, who collectively worked to resist deficit discourses, imagine community

and student success, and mobilize community members and district personnel to

make the schools and community more responsive to the needs of the most

disadvantaged students. This study extends beyond a tracing of modernist

conceptualizations of resistance that define social change as occurring through

organizing oppositional forces against institutional bodies and people in power, to

explore the ways in which Adelante collectively produced a feminist politic of

resistance. This politic rested in the inevitability of failure based on a masculinist

definition of success and turned toward non-modern knowledges and practices as

the ethos from which to organize. This analytic frame attends to the perceived failures, productive tensions and disquieted affect of the organizations’ history of

formation, the process of digital storytelling, the anthology produced, and the

quieter movements of social change.

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