Harvard Educational Review
  1. Summer 1995 Issue »

    A Dialogue with Noam Chomsky

    The following dialogue between Noam Chomsky and Harvard Educational Review Editors Pepi Leistyna and Stephen Sherblom occurred in the fall of 1994, at Chomsky's office at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In conceptualizing this Special Issue, the Editorial Board thought it imperative to frame the lives of youth within an interdisciplinary perspective that explores and lays bare the historical, sociopolitical, economic, ideological, and cultural conditions of U.S. society. Chomsky's prolific work accomplishes this in many important respects; however, his political critiques and insights have been almost entirely excluded from national efforts to understand community disintegration and address issues of youth violence. It is the Board's belief that by bringing Chomsky's critical perspectives, concerns, and outlooks to the center of educational debates we can better understand the complex roots and history of violence in this country, and thus better inform educators of the current social contexts in which children live.

    The dialogue begins by confronting the dominant ideologies that drive our history of systemic inequalities, oppression, and sanctioned violence that have resulted in this country's current culture of violence. Moving from a discussion of how the poor and middle-class in the United States subsidize the rich, to how the media and public institutions such as schools function to manufacture public consent for, and complicity with, such unequal distribution of power and wealth, Chomsky concludes with a discussion of the possibilities for progressive social change. Throughout, the dialogue vividly illustrates how we as a society often work against the values that we publicly profess, such as the growth and health of children, the social and economic well-being of all people, and the basic tenets of democracy.

    As participants in this dialogue, Editors Sherblom and Leistyna acknowledge their understanding of violence as endemic to unequal and exclusionary economic and social structures. This understanding and their commitment to social transformation shaped both the flavor of the questions and the evolution of the discussion, and may not reflect the opinion of the full Board of the Harvard Educational Review.

    The Board sincerely hopes that the following will contribute significantly to meaningful public dialogue, support the development and implementation of social policy that will reduce violence in the lives of youth, and work toward realizing a vision of a society without violence.

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    Summer 1995 Issue


    By Stephen Andrew Sherblom, Jane Davagian Tchaicha, and Paula M. Szulc
    A Dialogue with Noam Chomsky
    Sexual Harassment in School
    The Public Performance of Gendered Violence
    Nan Stein
    Reconstructing Masculinity in the Locker Room
    The Mentors in Violence Prevention Project
    By Jackson Katz
    Cultivating a Morality of Care in African American Adolescents
    A Culture-Based Model of Violence Prevention
    By Janie V. Ward
    Preventing and Producing Violence
    A Critical Analysis of Responses to School Violence
    By Pedro A. Noguera
    Life after Death
    Critical Pedagogy in an Urban Classroom
    By J. Alleyne Johnson
    Violence, Nonviolence, and the Lessons of History
    Project HIP-HOP Journeys South
    By Nancy Uhlar Murray and Marco Garrido
    Youth Speak Out

    Book Notes

    Raising a Thinking Child
    By Myrna B. Shure, with Theresa Foy Digeronimo

    Ending the Cycle of Violence
    Edited by Einat Peled, Peter G. Jaffe, and Jeffrey L. Edleson

    Edited by Scott Cummings and Daniel Monti

    Culture and Imperialism
    By Edward Said

    Old Nazis, the New Right, and the Republican Party
    By Russ Bellant

    Teaching Young Children in Violent Times
    By Diane Levin

    By Shoshana Feldman and Dori Laub.

    Dating Violence
    Edited by Barrie Levy

    Vulnerable Children, Vulnerable Families
    By Susan Janko.

    The Merry-Go-Round of Sexual Abuse
    By William E. Prendergast.

    Juvenile Delinquency
    Edited by Paul M. Sharp and Barry W. Hancock.

    Anger Management for Youth
    By Leona L. Eggert.

    Assessing Dangerousness
    Edited by Jacquelyn C. Campbell.

    Changing Childhood Prejudice
    By Florence H. Davidson and Miriam M. Davidson

    Practicing Virtues
    By Kim Hays

    By Daniel J. Monti.

    The Violence of Literacy
    By J. Elspeth Stuckey.

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