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akelly's picture

One part of Shor and Freire’s article that I thought was particularly interesting was their emphasis on the social aspect of empowerment.  While we have talked a fair amount in our classes about identity and culture, I tended to think more about how someone fits into certain cultures, and how a teacher or class could cater to individuals who do not fit into the norm or the status quo.  I was thinking about how to empower an individual in relation to their social identity, but not as much about social empowerment in general.  I thought it was a great point when Freire says, “if you are not able to use your recent freedom to help others to be free by transforming the totality of society, then you are exercising only an individualist attitude towards empowerment or freedom” (109).  It is not enough to empower yourself, your students, or your classmates, rather it is necessary to help them empower others and push for the changes they want and need.  It is not about helping one person, but helping society.  And I don’t just mean a certain society, community, or group, but society as a whole.