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Abstract

Classrooms are unlevel knowing fields, contested terrains where knowledge and ignorance are produced and circulate with equal vigor, and where members of dominant groups are accustomed to having an epistemic home-terrain advantage. My project focuses on one form of resistance that regularly surfaces in discussions with social-justice content. Privilege-preserving epistemic pushback is a variety of willful ignorance that many members of dominant groups engage in when asked to consider both the lived and structural injustices that members of marginalized groups experience daily. I argue that this dominant form of resistance is neither an expression of skepticism nor a critical-thinking practice. I suggest that standard philosophical engagements with these expressions of resistance are incapable of tracking the harms of privilege-preserving epistemic pushback. I recommend treating this pushback as a “shadow text,” that is, as a text that runs alongside the readings in ways that offer no epistemic friction. I offer this as one critical philosophical practice for making students mindful of the ways they contribute to the circulation of ignorance and epistemic violence during the course of their discussions.
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... Disse velger ofte å trekke seg tilbake og blir passive i diskusjonene. Deres erfaring har ført til at de ikke regner med å bli lyttet til, og at det koster for mye å stå i en diskusjon der de ikke blir hørt (Bailey, 2017). Det blir derfor vanskelig å få til diskusjoner der noe står på spill for de dominante gruppene, og utslaget blir en epistemisk urettferdighet der de dominante får taletid og de andre blir tause. ...
... Amal og Afsoons tilbaketrekning illustrerer hvordan epistemisk motstand kan føre til at marginaliserte stemmer forties (jf. Bailey, 2017). Det er ikke noe poeng for Amal å delta, fordi, som hun sier: «... de kommer ikke til å ta imot det du sier.» ...
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In this chapter we present a study on how religion is talked about in class in religion education in upper secondary school. We show how a secular discourse dominates in the classroom. Religion that does not confine to a secular frame is rejected as irrational, and arguments that challenge this understanding are defined as irrelevant. We focus on a specific case from a class discussion on religion and blasphemy, using the concepts epistemic injustice and epistemic pushback to analyze the dynamics that open or close for different standpoints.
... This article belongs to the topical collection "Worry and Wellbeing: Understanding the Nature, Value, and Challenges of Anxiety," edited by Charlie Kurth and Juliette Vazard. A wave of influential voices in philosophy and psychology have argued that negative affective states like stress, discomfort, and anxiety are not necessarily detrimental for mental health, but that they can, under certain conditions, take productive forms that may broaden our epistemic horizons (Applebaum, 2017;Bailey, 2017;Harbin, 2016;Jamieson et al., 2013;Kurth, 2018;Lukianoff & Haidt, 2018;Medina, 2013) and even contribute to social mobility (Munch-Jurisic, 2020a). But the potential benefits of negative affect depend on an agent's capacity to conceptualize and make sense of their internal, physiological states (Berntson et al., 2018) or, more crudely, whether agents find their experience as merely stressful (and potentially productive) or as distressing (and potentially harmful). ...
... On the other side of the political spectrum, advocates argue that it is appropriate and even necessary to make people feel uncomfortable in order to confront their bias and prejudice (Ahmed, 2017). Though divergent in their political commitments, the recommendation from such authors is strikingly similar to that of Haidt and Lukianoff: Classroom settings should confront students with their privileged social status and should not be safe spaces from such discomfort (Applebaum, 2017;Bailey, 2017). 3 Despite their many divergences, we can say that each of these voices urge us to embrace certain anxieties and uncertainties as potentially beneficial-and to not conceptualize all forms of stress as distress. ...
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A range of contemporary voices argue that negative affective states like distress and anxiety can be morally productive, broaden our epistemic horizons and, under certain conditions, even contribute to social progress. But the potential benefits of stress depend on an agent’s capacity to constructively interpret their affective states. An inability to do so may be detrimental to an agent’s wellbeing and mental health. The broader political, cultural, and socio-economic context shapes the kinds of stressors agents are exposed to, but it also delineates the hermeneutic equipment they have available to interpret their stress. To explain this specific problem of conceptual deprivation, philosophical theories on wellbeing and anxiety need to move beyond individualist perspectives.
... Disse velger ofte å trekke seg tilbake og blir passive i diskusjonene. Deres erfaring har ført til at de ikke regner med å bli lyttet til, og at det koster for mye å stå i en diskusjon der de ikke blir hørt (Bailey, 2017). Det blir derfor vanskelig å få til diskusjoner der noe står på spill for de dominante gruppene, og utslaget blir en epistemisk urettferdighet der de dominante får taletid og de andre blir tause. ...
... Amal og Afsoons tilbaketrekning illustrerer hvordan epistemisk motstand kan føre til at marginaliserte stemmer forties (jf. Bailey, 2017). Det er ikke noe poeng for Amal å delta, fordi, som hun sier: «... de kommer ikke til å ta imot det du sier.» ...
... However, there are good reasons to answer this question in the negative. Avoiding discomfort for the biased person has already been criticized for putting too much emphasis on the well-being of the biased person, at the expense of the person who is being exposed to biased treatment, and because it may miss out on the potential for change that comes with discomfort (Applebaum 2017;Bailey 2017). Being treated according to a bias is often worse than having a bias exposed to oneself, and if there is a disproportionality of harm between the awareness discomfort of the biased person and the discomfort experienced by the victim of biased treatment, then that disproportionality will be increased by the fact that the biased person is a referee, who has the power to influence the result of a game and in some situations to stall or destroy the career of the athlete. ...
... For there are good reasons to believe that the public trust in referees could be increased if sports organisations did use implicit bias testing, thereby signalling that they do what they can to combat biases among referees. It should be mentioned that there are also scholars who argue that creating awareness of implicit bias is an important tool in making society more just (Applebaum 2017;Bailey 2017;Devine 2005). Being confident and comfortable makes for a good working environment for referees and most other professions. ...
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Sports referees are not always as unbiased or impartial as they ideally should be. Studies have shown, for example, that in their decisions, referees seem to be biased against people of different race, gender or height or biased in favour of the home team. There is no doubt that such partiality work against official ideals of fairness and non-discrimination in sport. The problem with this is that being affected by implicit biases potentially causes the referees to make unfair decisions, with the result that some people are penalised disproportionately within the realm of sport. In this paper, we argue that sports organisations ought to require referees to undergo implicit bias testing as part of their mandatory training, in order to gain knowledge about biases and to take the proper counter-measures to combat such biases. Finally, we present and critically discuss four objections to our argument and conclude that none of them are plausible.
... To clarify once again, Black Lives Matter is not an "organisation", but a decentralised social justice movement. (Neo, 2020) Such fluidity, contentiousness and feigned ignorance about the language and concepts surrounding racism and social justice -in the interests of preserving privilege (Bailey, 2017) -require continuous challenge, especially when originating in mainstream media. ...
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Given the prominence of BLM and the worldwide attention it is receiving, including in sports coverage, it is fair to hypothesise that having more ethnic minority journalists would significantly improve the representation of marginalised minority groups in British media: in newsrooms and ownership, leadership, and decision-making positions. Would critically evaluating the traditions, models, ownership and practice of sports media - while experimenting with a more careful approach to sports journalism - lead to better representation and a fairer portrayal of traditionally marginalised individuals and communities? And does the Internet present an opportunity for minority ethnic journalists to sidestep traditional entry and ownership barriers into the field of sports journalism? This dissertation attempts to answer these questions by examining the power and influence of media discourses to record and shape social practices. The author investigates sports journalism’s role in negatively portraying minority and marginalised communities, while addressing its potential role in combating discrimination against minoritised groups.
... This literature shows that while governments and universities around the world recognise the benefits that internationalisation brings, and adopt policies that express and make public their commitment to the internationalisation of higher education, these policies fail to recognise the complexity of implementing these strategies within universities. By engaging conceptualised discussion of class coming from the sociology of education (Anyon, 1981;Lareau, 2003;Lingard, 2006;Weis, 2008;Weis & Dolby, 2012), and privilege from whiteness studies (Bailey, 2017;McIntosh, 1998;Sanders & Mahalingam, 2012), this paper examines the narratives of re-working class in the process of international students' mobilities. A key issue to discuss in this article, therefore, is how mobility creates the conditions for Chilean international students to reflect on and question naturalised assumptions about social class differences and privileges. ...
Article
This article focuses on the ways in which international students from Chile narrate their experiences in the US, and the extent to which mobility across national borders reshapes social class understandings and privilege. To complete this study, I conducted 13 in-depth interviews and a focus group with five Chilean graduate international students who enrolled in an elite research university in the Northeastern region of the United States. The data raised questions about how social class is negotiated in both education and space, challenging how we understand the relationship between social class and education in a global context. I argue that through a process of international mobility, upper-class students from Chile lose class privilege, which in turn influences them to denaturalise their class constructions. Based on discussion of social class within the sociology of education and insights from whiteness studies, the results of my study enable a dialogue about how mobility affects individuals within an international context. I conclude that while international mobility demands students to rethink their class constructions, the affective disruption of silence and guilt emerge as two strategies to justify and perpetuate social class privilege.
... When we challenge our students to think carefully in ways that call attention to structures of privilege and oppression, these very same structures can elicit from students forms of privilege-evasive pushback that can have real effects on our bodies and psyches, particularly when we are faced with this kind of pushback year after year, semester after semester. Strategies for helping students contend with the somatic and affective dimensions of privilege-evasive epistemic pushback are important (Bailey, 2017;Linker, 2015;Wolf, 2017), but so is caring for ourselves and recognizing that this kind of pushback can have damaging effects. Not all professors will be affected by this kind of pushback in the same way due to the fact that we are not all socially positioned in the same way. ...
Chapter
Emotions are the products of social, historical, and cultural factors. That is, they are neither private, internal, states of mind, nor “irrational moments” that happen to people when they “lose their minds,” as is commonly believed. And, in addition to their social elements, emotions have cognitive aspects that inform, and are informed by values embedded in social practices. Showing how this is the case in various contexts throughout the Americas is the fundamental purpose of this book. In this way, it builds on the theoretical legacy of approaches to emotion in both the social sciences and humanities.
... At first, this situation reminded me of what I have witnessed countless times in philosophy classrooms, namely how members of privileged groups dismiss testimonies of oppression by asserting that the speaker is too emotional to be afforded epistemic credibility (Wolf, 2018). Put differently, members of dominant groups deploy the reason/emotion divide to justify their refusal to engage the speaker's claims as well as to discredit claims of oppression from marginalized students in order to elevate their own epistemic position and protect their privilege, personal comfort level, and, epistemic home turf (Wolf, 2018;Bailey, 2018). ...
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In 2018, after it became public that children were being separated from their parents at U.S.-Mexico border by members of the U.S. Military and Border Control, that some of those children were locked in cages, that some families were being tear-glassed and that immigration officials were abusing some families, two major responses were evoked. Some people were scandalized by those acts and condemned them as terrible. By contrast, others made excuses and claimed that it was necessary and rational response to defend and protect U.S. borders while dismissing those condeming the acts as simply falling victim to their emotions. What interests me is not the differentiated response per se, but rather how the emotional responses on both sides—especially the anger expressed by various constituencies—are constructed, expressed, and regulated to validate and protect privilege of some, while discrediting and silencing others. In this essay, I will highlight this by reviewing three prominent feminist accounts on anger—Martha Nussbaum’s, Audre Lorde’s, and Marilyn Frye’s—and what they each reveal how anger is operating and being constructed in the debate about family separation in the United States.
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In this chapter I consider the harm to educators that may result from the set of phenomena that Alison Bailey calls “privilege-evasive epistemic pushback.” While Bailey and others have noted that this kind of pushback in the classroom manifests in student affect and physical comportment, little has been said about the degree to which it may have harmful effects on professors who receive such affect and comportment from their students semester after semester, year after year. I consider not only the affective and physical toll such pushback may place upon instructors, but also how the social institutions outside the community of the classroom lend weight to its force, placing unique pressures upon educators from marginalized groups when we teach courses that treat politically charged issues.
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This book explores the epistemic side of oppression, focusing on racial and sexual oppression and their interconnections. It elucidates how social insensitivities and imposed silences prevent members of different groups from interacting epistemically in fruitful ways-from listening to each other, learning from each other, and mutually enriching each other's perspectives. Medina's epistemology of resistance offers a contextualist theory of our complicity with epistemic injustices and a social connection model of shared responsibility for improving epistemic conditions of participation in social practices. Through the articulation of a new interactionism and polyphonic contextualism, the book develops a sustained argument about the role of the imagination in mediating social perceptions and interactions. It concludes that only through the cultivation of practices of resistance can we develop a social imagination that can help us become sensitive to the suffering of excluded and stigmatized subjects. Drawing on Feminist Standpoint Theory and Critical Race Theory, this book makes contributions to social epistemology and to recent discussions of testimonial and hermeneutical injustice, epistemic responsibility, counter-performativity, and solidarity in the fight against racism and sexism.
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Drawing from mindfulness education and social justice teaching, this bookexplores an anti-oppressive pedagogy for university and college classrooms. Authentic classroom discussions about oppression and diversity can be difficult; a mindful approach allows students to explore their experiences with compassion and to engage in critical inquiry to confront their deeply held beliefs and value systems. This engaging book is full of practical tips for deepening learning, addressing challenging situations, and providing mindfulness practices in anti-oppression classrooms. Integrating Mindfulness into Anti-Oppression Pedagogy is for all higher education professionals interested in pedagogy that empowers and engages students in the complex unlearning of oppression.
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This article examines the primary epistemic harm of testimonial injustice, or, as defined by Miranda Fricker, the injustice of perceiving another epistemic agent as less credible due to an identity prejudice. I first analyze Fricker’s account of the harm, which she posits in terms of a subject/object relation as “epistemic objectification.” My analysis, however, shows that (1) testimonial injustice does not render its victim to an object-like status and (2) testimonial injustice necessarily treats its victim as a subject, albeit a truncated subject. Drawing on the work of Ann Cahill and Simone de Beauvoir, I demonstrate that the primary harm of testimonial injustice is more aptly described in terms of a subject/other relation, or a relation that circumscribes the subjectivity of its victim within the confines of the perpetrator’s subjectivity. Using these conceptual resources to examine the primary epistemic harm of testimonial injustice not only avoids the problems I raise with the notion of epistemic objectification, but also greatly enhances our understanding of testimonial injustice, and consequently of what more epistemically just relations look like.