Terms of Endurance
Resilience, Grit, and the Cultural Politics of Neoliberal Education
Keywords:grit, resillience, critical theory, cultural politics of education, neoliberalism, educational reform
This paper critiques the role of resilience and grit in neoliberal education. Both concepts have become popular within research, policy, practice, and public discourse about education. Proponents claim that the concepts affirm and support the ability of marginalized youth to succeed in schools and society. However, resilience and grit minimize the impact of structural inequality and social domination on oppressed youth in schools, obscuring the necessity of collective struggle in order to achieve educational liberation. Resilience and grit function as what the author calls the “terms of endurance” in neoliberal education because they individualize and depoliticize educational problems and practice. Against the affirmation of durative language in the cultural politics of education, the author calls for critical educators to insist instead on a transformative approach.
Copyright (c) 2021 Graham B. Slater
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with Critical Education agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).