War or Common Cause?

A Critical Ethnography of Language Education Policy, Race, and Cultural Citizenship

Kimberly Anderson

A volume in the series: Education Policy in Practice: Critical Cultural Studies. Editor(s): Rodney Hopson, American University. Edmund Hamann, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Published 2009

This book on bilingual education policy represents a multidimensional and longitudinal study of “policy processes” as they play out on the ground (a single school in Los Angeles), and over time (both within the same school, and also within the state of Georgia). In order to reconstruct this complex policy process, Anderson impressively marshals a great variety of forms of “discourse.” Most of this discourse, of course, comes from overheard discussions and spontaneous interviews conducted at a particular school—the voices of teachers and administrators. Such discourse forms the heart of her ethnographic findings. Yet Anderson also brings an ethnographer’s eye to national and regional debates as they are conducted and represented in different forms of media, especially newspapers and magazines. She then uses the key theoretical concept of “articulation” to conceptually link these media representations with local school discourse. The result is an illuminating account of how everyday debates at a particular school and media debates occurring more broadly mutually inform one another.

Series Editor’s Introduction, Bradley A. U. Levinson. Foreword, Douglas Foley. Acknowledgments. Introduction: The Anthropology of Language Education Policy, Race, and Cultural Citizenship. Debates About Immigration, Language, Race, and Education Policy in the National Media in the mid-1990s. Conflict Over Immigration, Race, and Language Education Policy at a School in California in the mid-1990s. Immigration, Language, Race, and Education Policy in the National Media, 1998-2000: Debates Continue. Immigration, Race, and Language Education Policy a South Elementary, 1998-2000: Conflict Continues. Reflections on Policy Processes and Cultural Citizenship. Immigration Debates, Legislative Politics, and Education Policy Context, 2005-2007: From the National Stage to the “New South”. War or Common Cause? Conclusions and Implications for Research, Policy, and Practice Notes. References.

" important contribution to a growing body of literature which seeks to move along multiple levels of analysis to understand how policy processes shape, and are shaped by, their socio-cultural context."" Trish Gibson Indiana University in Education Review (Read full review)

"Anderson’s timely, methodologically sophisticated, and compelling account surrounding the politics of bilingual education moves beyond instrumental notions of policy to advance the idea that mandates are themselves resources that may be vigorously contested as contending parties vie for inclusion in the schooling process. Her work artfully demonstrates how improving schooling for all children is inseparable from a larger, much-needed discussion of what we as a polity believe about whether and how we are interconnected, together with who should and does have a voice in the policy making and implementation process." Angela Valenzuela University of Texas at Austin

"Anderson shows the gap between clear-cut assumptions and ideologies informing education policy and legislation on language and immigration, and the complications that arise for teachers when they actually implement language legislation in the classroom. She also illustrates assumptions about language and being American, as these are both debated and shared by each "side" of the language and immigration debates in California and Georgia. Her chapter on California’s Proposition 227 is a particular eye-opener, demonstrating in detail the embedding of local identities and oppositions in these debates. Above all, she makes quite clear the complex, often contradictory, web of relations among politics, language, race, and cultural citizenship." Bonnie Urciuoli Hamilton College