Language, Literacy, and Pedagogy in Postindustrial Societies
The Case of Black Academic Underachievement
In postindustrial economies such as the United States and Great Britain, the black/white achievement gap is perpetuated by an emphasis on language and language skills, with which black American and black British-Caribbean youths often struggle. This work analyzes the nature of educational pedagogy in the contemporary capitalist world-system under American hegemony. Mocombe and Tomlin interpret the role of education as an institutional or ideological apparatus for capitalist domination, and examine the sociolinguistic means or pedagogies by which global and local social actors are educated within the capitalist world-system to serve the needs of capital; i.e., capital accumulation. Two specific case studies, one in the United States and one in the United Kingdom, are utilized to demonstrate how contemporary educational emphasis on language and literacy parallels the organization of work and contributes to the debate on academic underachievement of black students vis-a-vis their white and Asian counterparts.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Postindustrial Pedagogy in America and the United Kingdom 2. Black American Achievement and Underachievement in America's Postindustrial Economy 3. Black Underachievement in Postindustrial America: Reevaluating the "Burden of Acting White" 4. Black British Achievement and Underachievement in Britain's Postindustrial Economy 5. The Writing Performance in English of African Heritage Students in Two Urban Environments: Birmingham, England and Kingston, Jamaica 6. Conclusion: Capitalism, Social Class Language Games, and Global Black Underachievement
Paul C. Mocombe is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Sociology at West Virginia State University and the President/CEO of The Mocombeian Foundation, Inc.
Carol Tomlin is a former Senior Lecturer in Education Studies at University of Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. She is now an educational consultant.