A Critique of Neoliberalism with Fierceness: Queer Youth of Color Creating Dialogues of Resistance

  • Grady J
  • Marquez R
  • McLaren P
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As a form of deregulated capitalism that has run amok, commodifying all that is in its path, and as a cultural means of commodifying Black and brown bodies, neoliberalism has taken a serious toll on the lives of working-class queer youth of color. Although it has hijacked spaces of cultural representation and material production, neoliberal capitalism is far from transparent. Through resistance, activism and performance queer youth of color have now started to shape a critique of oppressive structures, neoliberal policies, and pedagogical practices that are critical of their intersecting identities. This article examines neoliberalism's impact on education, focusing on educational policy and how these policies have affected queer youth of color in the urban centers of our major cities. This article also considers the contributions made by educators writing from the perspective of critical pedagogy in addressing the plight of queer youth of color in U.S. schools while employing the example of the dance group, Innovation, as way of addressing the havoc of neoliberalism in the lives of queer youth of color through performance and activism. This group has not only transformed notions of gender, race, class and sexuality that challenge major tenants of neoliberalism, but has also served as potent sites for the development of a critical pedagogy for working-class queer youth of color. Through sites of resistance rooted in progressive struggle, queer youth of color must be enabled by critical transformative intellectuals committed to encouraging youth to critically evaluate and challenge ideologies while displaying an allegiance to egalitarianism.

Author-supplied keywords

  • LGBT issues in education
  • critical pedagogy
  • neoliberal policies
  • neoliberalism
  • performance and dance
  • queer activism
  • queer youth of color
  • resistance

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  • Jonathan Grady

  • Rigoberto Marquez

  • Peter McLaren

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