Academic Absurdity of the Week: The Real Resistance on Campus

The left is abuzz with talk of how they represent “The Resistance” to Trump, which I suppose is a successor to “The Movement” in the 1960s. Of course, what happened to “The Movement”?

More immediately, for the campus-based Resistors, what do they do when the students aren’t buying what they’re selling? Two articles from the “scholarly journals” of the identity-politics fever swamps reveal the faculty frustration with students. The first exhibit is a chapter from a book Teaching Gender and Sex in Contemporary America, yours for only $29.95, or you can buy the complete eBook for a mere $139. (Seriously?)

Here’s the chapter abstract:

Sociology faculty often feel frustrated when students don’t “get it,” i.e., when students are resistant or hostile to course material or faculty, and have little increase in sociological critical thinking. Those of us who teach about gender must find ways to manage student resistance to the course material. Dealing with student resistance might increase some students’ critical thinking, while simultaneously frustrating progressive students. As we engage with resistance, we must consider whether we are engaging in feminist teaching or teaching feminism (Weitz (2010). Feminist Teacher, 20(3), 226236). This chapter describes a faculty member’s engagement with student resistance in the classroom, and the strengths and weaknesses of doing so. After she describes how she confronts resistance, two of her former students (both of whom identify as feminists) describe the promise and problems of using student resistance as a pedagogical strategy.

Don’tcha just hate it when the students won’t go along?

Sociologists are hardly along in finding students don’t want their brand of “critical thinking.” From Women’s Studies International Forum:

“Don’t be so feminist”: Exploring student resistance to feminist approaches in a Canadian university

Michelle Webber, Brock University


This paper explores student resistance to feminist course content in social science courses cross-listed with women’s studies as an example of social reproduction at work. Drawing on both interviews and anonymous student course evaluations, student resistance to feminism is examined from the layered perspectives of faculty, teaching assistants and students in these courses. The author argues that a regime of rationality still operates in the academy and is made evident when feminist course content is met with continual dismissal or disavowal.

“A regime of rationality still operates. . .”?? Does this mean students are—gulp—thinking for themselves? That darned rationality—always gets in the way of a neat and tidy oppression narrative.

Anyway, this article, too, can be yours for a mere $39.95. But it appears The Resistance will have to wage a two-front war.

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