A Right to Education? San Antonio v. Rodriguez and the Need to Re-examine the Discourse of Equality in Education

By Shan Mukhtar.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This essay elaborates on the necessary relationship between social discourse and social policy. By analyzing the 1973 Supreme Court decision in San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez, I seek to complicate the assumptions that sometimes guide post-civil rights narratives about equality in education. Legal precedent and public policy often reflect “official” frameworks for defining equal rights that are substantially different from public and social discourse. And because the public discourse on American education is important historically to the civil rights movement and continues to be foundational to present-day debates on race, class and equality, Rodriguez serves as an important case study for examining both contemporary American sociopolitical norms as well as efforts toward social change.

Keywords: Education, Race, Equal Rights, Social Change, Public Policy, Social Discourse, Legal Precedent

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 6, Issue 7, pp.89-98. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 939.666KB).

Shan Mukhtar

Graduate Student, The Graduate Institute of Liberal Arts (ILA), Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

My work in the Graduate Institute of Liberal Arts deals with race and ethnic studies in higher education. With research grounded in History, Sociology and American Studies, I wish to analyze how changing definitions, politics and social understandings of race and ethnicity reflect in race-based policies and narratives. I also seek to elaborate on the relationship between theoretical notions of diversity, community, and equality and the praxis of higher education placemaking. I believe that only through a multi-faceted, interdisciplinary inquiry into how race and ethnicity function can we understand why and how certain racialized ideas and practices are reproduced over time, while others are transformed. Furthermore, my academic and service experiences in graduate school have shown me that the difference between theory and practice is need not be so vast, and that work in the service of one’s community is not apart from one’s scholarly interests and responsibilities. I hope to carry this ethic through all of my scholarship and community-based work.

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