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Re: Re: Cultural deficit in new clothes

Posted By: Candice McCray on June 30, 2009
All who read Payne would do well to read Ryan's Piece on Victim Blaming. While Payne may offer something that seems altruistic, we go down a dangerous road when we can accept theories of cultural deficit, which are simply newer and more acceptable forms of inherent inferiority beliefs.

"Not all cultures are equal" not because of something handed down from good or that is common sense to all but because of the value that we put on them derived from our own cultural values. Furthermore we can not condemn a whole people/culture because of one regime i.e. Nazi or Stalinist. Which leads to my next point. Structural factors put in place in those examples give some the belief that all the individuals of the culture subscribe to the same beliefs, actions, and systems that those in power have created systemically through power. So we should question when we argue things such as urban poverty cultures do not transmit skills and values that enhance effectiveness in the modern work world. We should consider how access, power, and government contribute to individuals ability to do so.

You are correct that all cultures are not equal but it is a situation that was created and is perpetuated not by some act of God or natural state of being. Thus a theory like Payne's which borders on cultural deficit is a shallow band aid cover up of the real issues that must be addressed and changed to see effective differences in schools and the lives of students.
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 Cultural deficit in new clothes by Adrienne Dixson on May 25, 2009
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