Praxis of Critical Literacy
Pragmatic Utilization of Theoretical Tensions
Keywords:Critical Literacy, Paulo Freire, Michel Foucault, Karl Marx, Praxis, Pragmatism
The purpose of this paper is to re-examine the foundation of critical literacy. I claim that critical literacy should be conceived as praxis rather than a unified theory. This is because the foundation of critical literacy includes diverse philosophical positions with some disagreements between them. When critical literacy is treated as a unified theory, such internal contradictions implode the theory. Instead, by conceiving it as praxis, even those theoretical tensions can be rendered generative for insatiable reading of the wor(l)d. To demonstrate this, I juxtapose Marxist/Freirean approach and Foucauldian approach to critical literacy. The former approach solidifies the battle ground for critical projects by “naming” the wrongs of the world, while the latter dissipates such identification by inserting divergence and discontinuity into the narratives. I discuss the kinds of critical literacy questions these two approaches enable us to ask, and generate new questions that emerge from the theoretical tensions.
Copyright (c) 2022 Yuya Takeda
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 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).