Ancient History Lessons for Homeschool Hegemonists

28 08 2007

Always unschooled (and always ashamed of homeschooler hegemony) Favorite Daughter started her honors sociology class this week, with yet another Ph.D. prof who interests and inspires her.

Go, community college as real education, no matter who is “paying” for it!

Their first class discussion was about the complex meaning of identity, thinking critically about how (and why) you define who you are as an individual within any society — or mob — relentlessly pressing individuals to conform with (often quite radical) norms.

Stubborn symbolic belief in “who we are” beyond all reason and science is all some folks have, the only story with any power to put them on top of a social group, and so they are willing to turn the sciences of larger society upside down, on the basis of that belief.

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High school is a universal example, I guess, but my own high school memories are history, almost as old as modern homeschooling! So let me be more current. A social norming eddy of enforcement that I lived through since the turn of the most recent century, but still can’t quite believe is “real” rather than just Internet fantasyland, is the Young Earth Republican fundamentalist homeschool hegemony, whose persecution complex defines their own little “activist community” with special moral and legal status as a sub-sub-society apart from the rest of us homeschooling heathens (on the strength of a self-proclaimed “history” of oh, 50 years or so??)

They so tightly clutch their own historic roles as the faithful and steadfast, the chosen leaders of their cult– whoops, I mean advocacy group — that maybe it shuts off the circulation of blood to their brain cells. They obsess over a fantastical identity so derailing to their train of thought, that it causes them to misread real history, science, humanities, economics and politics, constitutions, dictionaries, and the hearts of parents and children across the land. Their own holy writ and society’s best interests, too.

But that insulated little society of identity politics claiming to be grassroots activism based on “facts” and “research” is old news today. We have a new example to contemplate today, in news both newer and much, much older. Back to Favorite Daughter and real education:

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