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Part 2

Standing against the coloniality of power: Claiming the right to democratic participation in the globalized neoliberal state

Standing against the coloniality of power: Claiming the right to democratic participation in the globalized neoliberal state

Mariolga Reyes Cruz, Ph.D.
Instituto de Investigaciones Interdisciplinarias
Universidad de Puerto Rico en Cayey

Abstract
Public schools are spaces where multiple local and global struggles are played out. Racism and xenophobia, for instance, are not simply manifestations of local hierarchies of oppression; these are key elements of the coloniality of power, the living legacy of colonialism around the globe. This legacy is reproduced and contested in the struggle for meaningful public education for marginalized groups. The globalization of neoliberal education policies geared towards the decentralization of public school systems has resulted in increased transfer of responsibility for the administration and academic outcomes to marginalized school communities while control over the content of education, the power structure and funding remains out of their hands (Fine, 1993; Spring, 1993). It is in this context where thousands of disenfranchised communities strive to transform their public schools reclaiming public education as a social right and a public good, a place for alternative political and democratic socialization (FLAPE, 2007; Peschard, 2006). In this paper I look through the conceptual lenses of colonialiity of power (e.g., Quijano, Mignolo), social, cultural and political capital (e.g., Bourdieu, Chronic Poverty Research Centre) to examine ethnographic material from an action research project that aims to promote collective participation on education policy matters at a historically marginalized black and immigrant community in Puerto Rico.

Keywords: coloniality of power, coloniality of knowledge, social capital, cultural capital, political capital, political culture, power, public education, citizen participation, ethnography

Author Notes: Paper presented at the II International Conference on Community Psychology, Lisbon, Portugal, June 4-6, 2008. Correspondence concerning this paper should be addressed to Dr. Mariolga Reyes Cruz, 1700 Calle Violeta, Urb. San Francisco, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00927; email mreyescruz@gmail.com.

 


Author

Mariolga Reyes Cruz

Mariolga Reyes Cruz, Ph.D.
Instituto de Investigaciones Interdisciplinarias
Universidad de Puerto Rico en Cayey


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Keywords: coloniality of power, coloniality of knowledge, social capital, cultural capital, political capital, political culture, power, public education, citizen participation, ethnography, 2nd ICCP, gjcpp