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There Is No Transcendent Truth Outside Of Discourses And Power Relations

By Author: Amelia.White
Total Articles: 41

CP itself rests on the assumption that truth is relative that no one interpretation or understanding of the world constitutes reality. As Pennycook says, 'I am more interested in the truth effects of the discourses of linguistics than the truth itself (whatever that may mean)'. Kubota (2006: 220) echoes this sentiment:'... there is no transcendent truth outside of discourses and power relations'. This charge is particularly designed to undermine the modernist Western claim to hold the key to all knowledge. In one sense, such a position is valid: we cannot claim to have a final version of how things are because new insights are always occurring to change our view of life, and different perspectives continue to offer various kinds of partial understanding.

Yet, in another sense, such relativism is self-contradictory and, so, ultimately self-serving. If reality consists only in the particular Replica Tag Heuer discourses which people construct for themselves, or have constructed for them, why should we be so concerned about one another? Why should we pursue the truth about our own or another's situation? Why should we try to 'get outside ourselves or beside ourselves', as Luke (2004: 26) demands that we should? Why bother with CP at all? The answer must be either that it is in our interest to do so, or that we are responding to a moral sense which is indeed transcendent. If the relativist response that this sense of right and wrong is culturally determined, then it must also be accepted that CP is one product of such conditioning. When it makes universal truth claims, CP is in fact undermined by its own relativism. It is right, of course, that pedagogy in all academic subjects should aim 'to make possible the realization of a variety of differential human capacities' (Simon 1987: 372), and that language teaching in particular should encourage students to explore and construct different possible voices, to establish new 'linguistic and cultural identities' (Sole 2005: 6), both those sanctioned by society and those which struggle to be heard or recognized (Simon ibid.: 375). This process, however, is essentially a personal or communal project for the students involved, and takes place in the classroom, which has its own distinct reality, and which should provide the 'safe space' (Ellsworth ibid.: 316), where students feel able to express themselves.

There may, but need not, is an explicitly Breitling Replica Watches political dimension to this activity, though it should certainly have a moral dynamic: serving the proper interests of the class. In this context it is incumbent on the teacher to show integrity and flexibility, to be true to their own best values, while recognizing the worth of alternatives on offer. This is a skilled, ethical enterprise, which is really what Akbari is saying; it is about service guided by experience and learning: a matter of vocation and professionalism, not politics and ideology.

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