Decolonizing ways of knowing: communion, conversion and conscientization

Austin, Jon (2015) Decolonizing ways of knowing: communion, conversion and conscientization. In: Paulo Freire: the global legacy. Counterpoints: Studies in the Postmodern Theory of Education, 500 (500). Peter Lang, New York, United States, pp. 489-501. ISBN 978-1-4331-2532-4

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The struggle to know and name the world is a central aspect of any decolonising project, and Freire’s notion of conscientização (conscientization) names a form of critical engagement with the realities of the lived experience of the colonized world. It is not enough to know the world; knowledge must be brought to bear on changing the world.
This chapter looks to draw together three key ideas from de-colonial activists to anchor an exploration of the experiences of the (white) author with Indigenous scholars engaged in research work where indigenous ways of knowing have been, in effect, quarantined by those scholars Outside the academy. The inability/refusal of these scholars to see and acknowledge the legitimacy of their culturally familiar ways of knowing (Du Bois’s (1903) double consciousness) can be seen to be a manifestation of the cultural amputation Fanon (1967) so vehemently resisted.
The central concern of this chapter is to draw from the experience of deliberately engaging a process approaching that of conscientization, where shadows of vanguardism and neo-colonial manoeuvres were (possibly) cast unwittingly across an intent to expose and disrupt colonized ways of knowing, to consider the implications of Freire’s (1970) idea of communion for collaborative decolonial praxis

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Accepted version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2016 00:32
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2018 02:59
Uncontrolled Keywords: Freire; conscientization; communion
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1399 Other Education > 139999 Education not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939999 Education and Training not elsewhere classified

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