19 SES 10 A, Young People, Voice and Resistance in Schools
Michel Foucault claimed that wherever there is power, there is resistance. This is of particular importance if we look at school as a place where, apart from enslavement and oppression, there is resistance, defiance and opposition. This vision of school is typical for critical pedagogy which views school as a place of enslavement and emancipation, as an arena of a struggle for dominant meanings, symbols and values. The category of a ritual, especially of a ritual of resistance, is helpful in validating such a vision. The ritual category is part of the school reality. McLaren (1994, p. 6) writes: school serves as a rich storage of ritual systems: rituals play a crucial and unerasable role in the whole student existence and different dimensions of the process are appropriate for the events and everyday institutional matters as well as the weft and warp of the school culture. On the one hand, the ritual is a tool for maintaining social order but on the other hand, it is a basic factor for changing the existing order. Victor Turner, Peter McLaren i Chistoph Wulf (2010) have given particular attention to the dualism of the ritual in their works.
Bobby C. Aleksander (1997) indicates that perceiving the ritual as a guardian of social order can be found in the works of Edward B. Tylor, James G. Frazer, Émile Durkheim, Arnold van Gennep, Bronisław Malinowski and Alfred R. Radcliffe-Brown. According to Bronisław Malinowski (Rajewski, 2006), the role of the ritual is to establish, show and forecast permanent attitudes and obligations. Its main task is to lower anxiety in a group through symbolic acts of recreating the existing structures. In this sense, the ritual is a binder of the group which affects its members’ solidarity. It is connected with a serious sphere of sacrum and profanum reality(Babicka-Wirkus, 2015).
Perceiving the ritual as a tool for a social change enables to show the dynamics of school functioning and thus changes of its normative systems. Victor Turner (2006) revealed the performative dimension of the ritual by putting it in the category of social drama, i.e. ritual conflict resolution. According to John McKenzie (2011), in the theatre of everyday life, all actors play their role and wear costumes of some specified function. This state of affairs is extremely important in the process of maintaining and changing social relationships.
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