VS 3.3: Social Theories Part 2


As a class you will watch this video segment. 

Think About

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Conceptual Outline Meaning Making

Resistance Theory

After a prolonged lack of acceptance by the dominant culture, minority students may actively resist the dominant school culture.

Any of my students?

Claudia Ramirez Wiedeman (Whittier College)

"Resistance becomes a way of protection for these students, maintaining a sense of self."


  • Refusal to participate
  • Becoming distant
  • Being angry
Maintaining cultural and social identity?

Resistance can also be used in proactive ways to change society or a school’s dominant culture.

Contribute to change?

Brenda Beyal (Elementary School Teacher)

"In my culture, when a child is born, the mother takes care of the belly button of the child. When the belly button falls off, great care is taken in deciding where that belly button is placed. My belly button has been buried in a sheep corral somewhere on the Navajo reservation. And so my heart, my body, my mind goes back there often. . . .

"Sometimes when I’m looking at children, I think, “Where is your belly button buried?” It makes me realize this child has a family; this child has grandparents; this child has a way of doing things; this child has something that helps them to be drawn to a certain place. Then I realize this child is a gold mine—that they have so many things that they can bring from where their belly button is placed into my room."

What I see in my students?

Questions Prompted by Social Theories

  • Deficit Theory

Have I exhibited or acted upon a cultural or genetic deficit assumption?

  • Cultural Capital

How have I taught my students to play the game of school here in the United States?

  • Resistance Theory

Have there been times when I misinterpreted bad behavior or did not recognize the impetus for such behavior? Could I promote constructive resistance?

  • Funds of Knowledge

How can I take advantage of what my students know? How can I incorporate community knowledge into my curriculum?

My questions?
Funds of Knowledge  

Every group— minority and majority cultures — has social networks and community knowledge that can be used in the education of students.

My funds of knowledge?

Social Networks

A person who contacts neighbors, extended family, other second language speakers, or people in his/her religious group uses social networks to get things done.

Diversity and social networks?

Community Knowledge

Immigrant and indigenous minority communities have rich resources of knowledge, some of which may be atypical of dominant culture knowledge. For example, migrant workers’ understanding of farming, a refugee’s survival skills, a group’s craft skill and techniques, or Eastern cultures’ loyalty to family, including extended family.

Integrate into mainstream culture?


  • Virginia Collier: What do they already know at home? A mason may not know the physics and mathematics behind brick laying, but they know the physical reality  of such knowledge.
  • Ramona Cutri: A child of poverty may well know the value of a dollar and how to budget.
  • Victor Lopez: The boy who could tell time in the prairie by looking at the shadows and sun.
  • Brenda Beyal: The nephew who wrote a paper about his great uncle who was a Navajo Code Talker.
  • Richard Kimball: Students who come from war torn countries, who understand revolution firsthand.
My students? My examples?

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