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THE ROLE OF CRITICAL SOCIAL ANALYSIS IN PUBLIC POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION: A SERVICE LEARNING COURSE APPLICATION IN RACE, INEQUALITY, AND PUBLIC POLICY

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Abstract:

This article presents a course application in service learning and the use of critical social analysis as an instructional tool in teaching a masters program course in public policy and administration. The article initially sets out to identify the historical development of social analysis beginning in the Enlightenment and culminating in its application within critical theory. The formulation of critical social analysis is then demonstrated through the applications of Brazilian educator Paulo Freire and his "critical consciousness" methodology. Based on this methodology a number of applications are assessed which utilized this form of methodology in the related course Race, Inequality, and Public Policy. These techniques are then applied within a service learning component to the course. The article provides examples of focus questions for journal exercises useful in helping students, administrators, and practitioners to think critically about the study of race and equality. The implications for this pedagogy have the potential to help educators and students more clearly define and critique policy positions in both domestic and international venues.

Keywords: Critical-consciousness; Discourse; Pedagogy; Practice; Social analysis; Social class

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10282580214777

Affiliations: California State University, Long Beach

Publication date: January 1, 2002

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