Re: Re[2]: ideology bashing

Phyllis Ryder (pryder@CCIT.ARIZONA.EDU)
Tue, 13 Aug 1996 10:43:33 -0700

On Mon, 12 Aug 1996, Michael Hamende wrote:

> I like to try to explain it as argument. You can't argue if you don't
> take a position. There are lots of things that make up your ideology
> and many times that drives the positions you take. Explaining that is
> well within the grasp of any fy type. To be a good teacher of
> rhetoric, you must. You must. Talking about it is the best one I
> know. They may not call it the right terms, but they know what it is.
> Metacognition about yourself and those you read is central to
> understanding. For me failing to do it is unethical.
Mike, I'd like to think that just by explaining that we have taken
stances based on assumptions, students will know how to examine those
assumptions. But isn't the sneaky thing about ideology that it operates
in us in ways that we don't usually acknowledge? So it can't just be a
matter of willing ourselves to recognize what's at work. We need some
other tools that will make us step back and see what is otherwise
invisible. We need to find ways to cause a sort of paradigm shift
within us. So, for some it's coming to understand a new
worldview--feminism, marxism, whatever--and using that new worldview to
look back on situations and "re-experience" them through this new
framework. If we are to ask students to really reflect on their
positions, we need to be able to teach them to look at those positions
through multiple paradigms. But then, of course, we slip into those
dangerous and scary waters of a) being accused of political
indoctrination when we try to decide which paradigms to teach b) being
accused on not teaching rhetoric/writing when we start introducing these
other paradigms.

Do you understand my resistance? I would like to think I could
accomplish all of this by just telling students to examine their
positions carefully, but I think that denies something of the way that
ideology works: it is hidden and not easily found out.

What do you think? --Phyllis