Recognition: More recent times

Since the mid-20th century in particular, ideologies and practices of separatism and assimilation have been thrown into question and, with this, their shared assumption that the members of a well-functioning social group should be more or less the same. Many of the most distinct forms of strict institutional separation have been challenged – racial segregation or apartheid, the strict delineation of men’s and women’s jobs and roles, and the institutional separation of disabled people from able-bodied people, for instance. The discourses and practices of sexism, racism, homophobia and discrimination have come to be regarded as unacceptable. Universal covenants, such as the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, create a conceptual and international legal basis for human rights. These changes are the result, in part, of political contestation and institutional change. They are also a consequence of changing social conditions and shifts in values.

At first, the shift away from separatism and assimilation is a cautious one, a step in the direction of the recognition of differences. Instead of pretending the differences don’t exist, or hoping they will go away, or trying to make them go away, differences are recognised and at least minimal measures taken to try to produce more equitable outcomes (N. Fraser 2003).

Sometimes, the process of recognition is no more than that. People come to recognise publicly that there are big differences in the ways people live and speak and think in their everyday lifeworlds. But they may go a little further than this and say, as French speakers would, ‘laissez-faire’, or let things be. There’s nothing much we need to do. If differences have a life of their own, they are best left alone. ‘I’m happy with my way of life,’ a proponent of laissez-faire might say, ‘and I’m happy that you seem to be happy with yours. So let’s leave things the way they are. I won’t interfere in your lifeworld if you don’t interfere in mine. If I have a private opinion about your way of life, I’m going to keep it to myself.’

This approach to difference much of the time sits comfortably beside the shift from what we have called didactic to authentic education. Authentic teaching tries to connect the curriculum to learner experiences, without necessarily challenging these experiences. Its frequent effect, whether by accident or by design, is to make little or no change in people’s conditions of life. How, then, do different learner attributes present themselves in the initial stages of their recognition? And what do schools and teachers do about these differences?

Dimension 1: Material conditions

Social class

In the era of post-Fordism and neoliberalism, complex changes occur in the dynamics of social class. In the developing world, many of the poorest remain grindingly poor. Some move to cities, find work and become somewhat less poor. Or they become poor in different ways, perhaps earning a greater cash income than they did as peasant farmers, but now finding themselves living in slum settlements rather than in villages where they had been able to grow some of their own food and live more healthily. In the developed world, many of the poor get slightly less poor and acquire some of the inventions of the consumer society – mobile phones, televisions and the like. Meanwhile, the already very affluent get much more affluent, and the gap between the affluent and the poor becomes greater (Harvey 1996).

The waters of social class become muddied as more and more subtle distinctions of status are created. One such distinction is between ‘new economy’ jobs and the older kinds of jobs characterised as ‘Fordism’ in Chapter 3. In many ‘new economy’ jobs, the ethic of post-Fordism gives everybody a degree of responsibility for their own work. The distinct, class-differentiated neighbourhoods of the modern city also become more mixed. Working-class suburbs of the inner city become gentrified even though pockets of poverty remain. The new working poor move to more distant suburbs where their poverty is not so obvious. Poverty then manifests itself in the daily pressure of transport costs and mortgage payments. Throughout the city and on its fringes, relative poverty and comparative wealth are increasingly juxtaposed, cheek by jowl. Material advantage and disadvantage are increasingly recognised to be, not just a matter of social class, but the inter- section or overlay of social class with race, culture, disability, gender and other markers of difference.

As the welfare state is dismantled, a more laissez-faire approach is taken to differences of social class. If poverty is going to be fixed, the poor are supposed to ix it for themselves by taking greater responsibility for their own welfare. It becomes harder and harder to get income support from the state if you are not in regular employment. This puts pressure on people to go back to work. The pay may be low and working conditions tough, but the poverty of this new ‘working poor’ is less visible than older forms of poverty.

The ‘class struggle’ of earlier modern times abates, too. The wave of revolutions from the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia of 1917 through to the communist victory in South Vietnam in 1975, came to an end when the classical communist states either collapsed or reinvented themselves by grafting market mechanisms onto their one-party states. In the capitalist world, trade union membership declined and strikes became fewer. Yet, the tensions of class inequality were never far below the surface of society, even if the mark of poverty was expressed tangentially through high rates of criminality, violence and substance abuse.

The political quiescence of the less well-off in this period may well have been a consequence of consumerism. Advertising promises that clothes or cosmetics or electronic goods or cars will be life-enhancing, even though the products the poor can afford tend to be cheap and shoddy. The social differentiations of class are more subtly cultural than they had been in the past – those who can afford to consume prestige-conferring products and brands, and those who cannot. The poor in developed countries spend more of their time shopping for the products they might consume, or purchasing the entertainment that ills their free time. They do not seem to focus as they did in the 20th century upon actions to contest the structures of class inequality – the classical union struggles or communist revolutions in which the workers take over the state and the state takes control of workplaces.

The new inequality does not require an authoritarian state to impose order and maintain the status quo. The less well-paid workers and the poor stay quiet because they have bought into the dreams of consumerism. The heavy hand of the Fordist boss and the nationalist state is replaced by the soft power of advertising hype, lifestyle brands, trashy entertainment, sporting team identifications and junk media.

This state of affairs creates new complexities for schools. Are they segregating along class lines more or less than they did before? One answer is ‘more segregating’, as the affluent send their children to expensive schools. Another answer is ‘less segregating’ when the social class of people within geographical reach of a school may be more varied than in the past, or when the children of poorer people are coming to a school because it offers greater opportunities, or when the school deliberately aims to serve a broader social constituency in a more equitable way.

Despite these changes, there does not seem to be evidence that schools are bridging lifeworld gaps any more effectively than they have in the past, even when they attempt to apply progressivist or authentic approaches to teaching. Maybe it is hard, impossible even at times, for schools to make up for the patterns of disadvantage and advantage that are the consequences of social class. Clearly, however, the gap is get- ting larger. As ‘knowledge’ is an increasingly important factor in securing economic opportunity, this failure on the part of schools is no longer justifiable or sustainable.

See Basil Bernstein on Restricted and Elaborated Codes.


Since the early 20th century, rural and remote locales have remained relatively disadvantaged in comparison with cities because people by and large have reduced access to public and cultural goods – quality schools, public libraries, museums, galleries and a comprehensive range of media, for instance. However, new pockets of disadvantage emerge as the sheer geographical expanse of many cities becomes so much greater. Those living on the distant suburban fringe who don’t have a motor car, for instance, may find they are as disadvantaged in their access to social resources as anyone in a regional or rural area.


Differences between family types have come to be much more accepted and recognised than they were during the era when the nuclear family was dominant. There is less pressure to conform to the nuclear family norm. In fact, among households, the nuclear family has become a minority form. Alongside it there are single-parent families, extended families and, with increasing rates of divorce and remarriage, blended families.

Changing gender relations also transform the family, even nuclear families. As more women work and sexism is regarded as unacceptable, men are increasingly expected to share the burden of childrearing and domestic work. The rule of the husband in the household is replaced by shared decision-making between men and women as equal partners. Meanwhile, the traditionally authoritarian parent, and particularly the father figure, is displaced by increasingly ‘permissive’ childrearing practices, allowing children more autonomy to make up their minds about things for themselves. The hard power of corporal punishment is replaced by softer forms of persuasive discipline.

See Dr Spock on Permissive Child Rearing.

To traditionalists, these changes are distressing. Rather than affirming family environments for children or the liberation of women, they see disintegrating values, unruly children and dysfunctional families. They yearn nostalgically for the days when there were straightforward norms of parental authority and clearly differentiated gender roles.

Dimension 2: Corporeal attributes


Over the course of the 20th century, a more finely differentiated recognition of age differences emerges. These differences come to be clearly delineated and rigidly institutionalised. Age groups begin to behave in newly distinct ways.

Some of this is a consequence of changing gender relations. The stay-at-home mother of the traditional nuclear family relied on complementary sibling differences; for instance, older children’s level of maturity and thus responsibility for themselves and their younger siblings. Working parents today send their children to age-differentiated crèches and childcare facilities. Children spend more time with peers than with children of different ages. Even at home, families of the recent past were characteristically larger and more age-differentiated than they are today. In all parts of the world, one or, at most, two-child families are becoming more common, and in China today the one-child family is law.

Children’s culture also becomes more finely graduated – toys, books and other media are targeted at narrower and narrower age bands. Some of these activities for children, such as video games, lead them to forms of abstraction and cognition that at times surprise child psychologists and push down what were thought to be the lowest thresholds for certain kinds of thinking and identity. For these children, doing school in the traditional way seems boring, and when it’s boring they may become disengaged or present a ‘discipline problem’.

Moving on through the age levels, puberty happens earlier now. Pre-teens or ‘tweens’ are more like what teenagers used to be. However, at the other end of adolescence, young people are staying at school longer, and so taking longer to make an adult-like contribution to society. It might take until their mid- or even late twenties, after the completion of their second, professionally-oriented degree, before a young person gets full-time employment. In the meantime, they remain dependent on their parents. Given the cost of housing, sometimes they continue to live at home even after they get a job. Nor are adolescents and young adults the relatively homogeneous cultural group they were in the past. As an age bracket, these young people are increasingly fractured by diverging styles, interests and personae.

These ambiguities of dependence, responsibility and diverging values create intense crises of identity – around family and institutional authority, substance abuse, depression and suicide, to name just a few of the most vexing flashpoints. New rites of passage become the subject of contestation between generations and opposing value orientations; for instance, the appropriate time and form of sexual experience or whether, when and how to use cigarettes, alcohol and drugs. The stages of development from child to adult are more than ever the result of culture and values rather than predictable and general stages marked by age level alone (Mortimer and Larson 2002).


In the second half of the 20th century, social institutions and ideologies that had once used the concept of ‘race’ to justify and perpetuate inequality came under increasing attack. Anti-colonial movements successfully secured independence for countries still subject to imperial rule. Civil rights movements protested apartheid and racial segregation, where one racially defined group enjoyed rights and privileges at the expense of another. By these means, racism in its most explicit institutional and ideological forms is slowly eliminated. Institutional and verbal racism are also progressively pro- scribed, at least in name and in law.

Racism, however, persists in the subtly exclusionary attitudes of those in privileged positions and the institutional realities of those racially distinguishable groups who ‘happen’ to be poorer and have less access to high-quality education.

Rightly and sometimes wrongly, ‘race’ categories continue to be used, themselves legacies of the era of racism. The enduring cultures of prejudice associated with visible differences and subtle institutional exclusions still need to be negotiated. In this context, various social agencies still use race classification to measure whether employment access or school results are improving for racially defined minorities, or indigenous peoples, or immigrant groups. ‘Affirmative action’, ‘equal opportunity’, ‘desegregation’ or ‘equity programs’ all use these categories (Post and Rogin 1998).

However, the case is often made both by the supporters and opponents of the civil rights movement that these categories are at times used in less than helpful ways. They are overly simplistic, not accounting for the variety of social experience and privilege within racially distinguishable groups. They are a heavy handed way to ensure equity, to the extent that they sometimes create a counter-productive anxiety and anger on the part of individuals who don’t feel they are getting favoured or even fair treatment in the redressing of the hand of social justice. They create separate programs that, in the name of cultural identity, intensify historical consciousness of separateness. And they use the lawed category of ‘race’ as though the appearances mattered, or could be allowed to matter still. Buy the old category and you buy into the old argument. The real problem, the more sympathetic of these critics argue, is not race, but the legacies of racism.

Sex and sexuality

By the second half of the 20th century, sex and sexuality became less centred around the male–female dichotomy and its bipolar pattern of supposedly ‘natural’ attractions. Traditional sexual relations were radically destabilised by the widespread acceptance of homosexuality. One permutation of sexual relations, male–female, was replaced by three when male–male and female–female were added, and more if you added permutations of bisexuality, or attraction to both sexes. New sexual alternatives came out of the closet. They were increasingly public – in neighbourhoods, in popular culture and in everyday life. The prevailing view of homosexual people became that their sexuality is a matter of biology – of sex more than gender, a truly corporeal rather than a principally symbolic thing. The way they feel is in their natures, and not a matter of cultural choice or something that could have been any other way. Meanwhile, public institutions increasingly came to recognise homosexuality. Homophobia became unacceptable in a wider range of social settings. Despite the growing recognition of alternative patterns of sex and sexuality, the new communities spawned by these social changes tended to remain relatively separate in the first instance.

Physical and mental abilities

Views of body form that measure deficits against a norm – height, weight and certain kinds of physical ability – have become less acceptable in recent times. There is an increasing recognition of the range of body forms. Programs of action have also been designed to enable better access for people with certain kinds of disabilities – be that the capacity to walk, or to see, or to hear, for instance. Terminology or attitudes that label a person’s bodily features in a prejudicial way are less acceptable.

There is recognition of a wider range of disabilities and the relativity of these to specific tasks. Rather than focusing solely on a lack of physical or mental ability in some area, educators need to focus on alternative abilities that might be marshalled to support a task. A disabled person is often able to do a range of things in different ways. Rather than classify and then marginalise a person as disabled, the focus moves to the conditions for their enablement. Counterbalancing abilities are things that can be learned. For instance, it is not the case that schools and their teaching programs enable optimal learning experiences for learners with a diverse range of bodily abilities. To this extent, social institutions themselves, rather than an individual’s bodily capacities, remain the source of disability. Moreover, disability is something that can be both inherited or acquired – with accident or age, for instance (Bowe 1978).

Notwithstanding this progress, people with specific disabilities are still frequently regarded as separate groups. They are often classified in overly simplistic ways. And, in relation to body forms more generally, there is a subtler and more widespread view of the ideal body image, sometimes reaching the point of being extreme and unrealistic. Such a view can be found pervasively in a ‘beauty myth’ promoted in fashion and advertising, and the lionisation of the ‘sporting type’ (Wolf 1991).

Dimension 3: Symbolic differences


Cultural assimilation never did work very well, and certainly not consistently or reliably. Granted, assimilation was a somewhat more open approach than outright segregation. However, for every individual success story where, for instance, immigrant children did well in school, evidence pointed to general patterns of educational dis- advantage among ‘minority’ students (Kalantzis and Cope 1988). Despite the assimilationist rhetoric, the outcome in these cases continued to be exclusion.

Cultural diversity is not something that can so simply be erased. Despite the public rhetoric of assimilation, cultural heritage remained a cornerstone of the domestic life of both immigrants and the indigenous peoples. ‘Ethnic’ organisations and lobby groups were emerging. In countries in which significant numbers of ‘minorities’ had the vote, they came to constitute an important electoral pressure group. However, it is hard to avoid the suspicion that one of the reasons assimilation didn’t work was that its proponents were never entirely serious about it. The way things conveniently happened to turn out amounted to a structural racism in which assimilation may well have been the theory (the promised ‘opportunity’), but assimilation measured as the same social outcomes, rarely happened. The hurdles proved just too great. Few in minority groups actually assimilated to the extent of achieving social parity.

From about the third quarter of the 20th century we see the rise of social policies and practices that might be loosely called ‘multiculturalism’. On the one hand, the strong national identities and clear state sovereignty characteristic of the era of nationalism had been weakened by the forces of globalisation. On the other hand, the laissez-faire ideology of neoliberalism allowed social groups any forms of self-reliance they may choose. Ethnic and religious groups were, for instance, encouraged to run their own self-managed childcare centres, schools or aged-care facilities.

Meanwhile, global diasporas become more closely interconnected. Today, you can watch cable or satellite TV from your country of emigration. You can stay closely engaged with its politics, to the extent, in some cases, of being able to vote in national elections and maintain active citizenship of two states: the state of one’s ethnic origins as well as the destination state of migration. You can stay connected through social media. Migrants can join businesses networks that capitalise upon diasporic connections.

The story for indigenous peoples is somewhat different in its details, though similar in its underlying narrative. Indigenous peoples and their sympathisers fight for land rights and some degree of sovereignty over their ancestral lands. In response, the neoliberal state is sometimes willing to hand over a degree of self-determination or self-management to indigenous peoples. Better that they sort out their problems for themselves, the rationale seems to run, than the state try to sort things out for them. So, the state grants limited land rights to indigenous peoples, mainly over areas that have not yet been settled by non-indigenous people. Sometimes this comes with economic concessions that allow these communities to be self-supporting, such as rights to mining royalties from the land or the right to run casinos (Battiste and Henderson 2000).

Multiculturalism and indigenous self-determination come with their limitations (Castles et al. 1992). They are often accompanied by an ‘authentic’ approach to education that allows learners to express their identities through their learning. This approach affirms differences instead of seeking to exclude or erase them. In the case of cultural differences, students might do country studies of the diasporic communities represented in the classroom. They might bring in their families for national days – and samples of their food, national costumes, dances and artefacts. However, as significant as it might be to offer a mark of acknowledgement, to offer a gesture that will make students and families feel they belong, this does not necessarily tackle the question of access, or how education might provide minority students with avenues to social power and access to material resources. At times, this kind of recognition of difference feels tokenistic, even patronising. Other times it creates stereotypes, whereby a child has to go searching to find something in their lifeworld that is sufficiently exotic to meet the school’s vision of interestingly colourful difference. At still other times, it creates categories that are all too neat. It oversimpliies the complex realities of identity in ways that are at times less than helpful.

Specialist access programs for demographically defined groups may overcome the limitations of tokenistic affirmation and include English as a Second Language (ESL) or bilingual education programs. Such programs can be valuable when they assist the group for whom they were intended, either to gain access to ‘mainstream’ educational and social goods or to flourish in their diversity. However, they may be not so good a thing when they divide groups and create barriers to wider interaction, or when they set their sights lower to achieve ‘realistic’ outcomes for disadvantaged students, or when they trigger counter-productive reactions in the ‘culture wars’ from those who think they are being left out.

Such programs also attract noisy critics who still support the assimilationist view, even though rarely these days the explicitly exclusionist view. Teach our national culture, the Western canon, mainstream disciplines, they say, because that’s how you will help students to get on in life. That’s also how we will prevent social disintegration and tribalism and create a common, shared national culture (Cope and Kalantzis 1997b).


The forces of globalisation have had two, seemingly contradictory, effects on language diversity. On the one hand, multilingualism is a more evident and necessary phenomenon. On the other hand, English has become the dominant global language, at the expense of the visibility and importance of other languages.

The world today is a seeming Babel of multilingualism – as we pass through the world’s airports, as we read the instructions that come with products and in the streets of our neighbourhoods as locals talk to each other in the languages in which they happen to be most proficient (Lo Bianco 2000). Classrooms in schools are made up of students who speak any number of languages at home – a fact that teachers can only ignore to the detriment of students’ learning. Learning a second language is not the same as learning to read and write in a first language. Students experience disadvantage when they come to school without the national language, if that’s the medium of instruction. They don’t learn to read and write as easily as students who have spoken the language of instruction at home. They often don’t do as well in regular subjects, such as science and mathematics, if they are not native speakers of the language in which these subjects are being taught. So, special second-language learning pro- grams and bilingual programs are devised (Kalantzis and Cope 2012b).

Schools also often teach the first language of minority language groups. Alternatively, parents send their children to community based schools, be these full-day, after-school or weekend community language schools. Whichever way, the objectives of such teaching are mostly mixed: maintaining their language and cultural heritage, keeping up the learning that had been started in a first language rather than having to start again, and creating opportunities for children to participate in the local and global work and life possibilities that are offered by diasporic communities (Kalantzis, Cope, and Slade 1989). If you are a native speaker of a Chinese language or of Arabic, for instance, learning the language formally may open up all kinds of opportunities in a globalising world.

Bilingual education programs are another approach to language diversity in which part of the curriculum is taught in the home language of the learner even when this is not the main language of the society or the language of instruction of the school. The purpose of bilingual programs is to ensure that students’ learning is not disrupted, when, for instance, they enter school mid-way after migrating from a country where they had been taught in another language. Their transition to the main language of instruction can then be at a pace that meets their needs. Or bilingual programs may be offered for the whole of the school as a way of maintaining the group’s language to levels that are useable in professional and formal knowledge contexts (Kalantzis et al. 1991; Cummins 2000).

As is the case with multiculturalism, there is often a vociferous backlash against multilingualism. It slows down the assimilation or integration process, its critics say. To be sure that everybody is unequivocally in the same civic space, all public signs and communications should be in the main national language. Such are the claims of the ‘English Only’ movement in the United States, one example of this kind of movement. English Only lobbyists have gone so far as to insist on legislating that English be the official language of all public places, including schools (Crawford 1992).

One would hardly have thought this necessary, in one sense, because of the overwhelming global dominance of the English language. Spoken by only a million people in a little country off the coast of mainland Europe just 350 years ago, it is now spoken by about one person in five across the world, the majority of whom now speak it as a second language. English dominates the Internet, popular music, film, the news media, science and academic knowledge. Students flood into universities in English-language countries so they can get closer to the inside of this global language of power.

The price of this is the inescapable fact that small, indigenous languages are disappearing faster than ever. Even spokespeople for large, European languages are worried. The French-language experts of the Academie Francaise create new French words rather than allow into the language English words for new things like ‘email’. So, they invented the word ‘courriel’ from the words ‘courrier electronique’, or ‘electronic mail’. The French Ministry of Culture then announced a ban on the use of the word ‘email’ in all government documents and publications.


Gender roles have changed enormously, particularly over the course of the past half-century. Civil limitations on women’s rights, such as the right to vote, have been removed in most countries of the world. There are more women in the workforce than ever before. And traditionally male and female professions have become less exclusively so. There are more male kindergarten teachers and nurses than in the past, and more female police officers and lawyers. From being highly unequal, the highest levels of education attained by girls and women compared to boys and men have come closer to a balance. There is less gender-segregated schooling and when there is, a full range of subjects is offered to girls in single-sex schools. More girls are doing traditional boys’ subjects, such as mathematics and science.

In both schools and the wider society, sexist practices, including employment discrimination and sexual harassment, are sometimes illegal. Sexism in its attitudinal or discursive forms – sexist language, for instance – is regarded as unacceptable. Men are expected to rectify those aspects of stereotypical male behaviour that impact badly on others and limit their own social effectiveness, such as taking an aggressive stance, or dominating a conversation and not listening, or exhibiting poor interpersonal skills and lacking ‘emotional intelligence’.

These changes are a testament to the feminist movement and the struggle for equal rights for women, which first became a force in public discussion with the fight for female suffrage at the beginning of the 20th century. These changes also happen to mesh well with the general direction of the post-Fordist, neoliberal world. It’s good for the economy to have more women in the workforce and integrated more fully into the market economy. Not only are they more readily available for the labour market. It is also possible to enlist them as consumers of things that were once produced in the unpaid domestic economy of the nuclear family, outside the direct reach of the market. It is better for business and the market economy if busy mothers have to purchase fast foods for their families, rather than cook themselves. It is better they pay for child care than do it all themselves. The change, in other words, is part of a larger development project in which the market and consumerism penetrate every corner of the world still not commodified.

See Simone de Beauvoir on Emancipating Women.

Parallel to this, masculine and feminine gender identities become less clearly aligned to male and female sex. Typical behaviours for boys and girls are less clearly defined, and broader in the range of possibilities. There are butch girls and effeminate boys. Some of this is connected to the growing acceptance of homosexuality; however, gender identity is not necessarily a predictor of sexuality – hence the ‘metrosexual’ men and the determinedly and publicly ambitious, tough women who are nevertheless heterosexual.

See Connell on Gender Roles and Masculinity.

Affinity and persona

Patterns of personal association change, too. For instance, there are many more shades of religious and non-religious identity, seemingly less able to tolerate each other’s doctrines. These appear in the widely varied religions of diasporic communities; the more and more polarised views of religious liberals and religious fundamentalists, at times even within the one religion or denomination; the panoply of ‘new age’ belief systems; and the proliferation of quasi-faiths of self-improvement.

In the realm of political identity, traditional left–right politics around access to material resources used to be centred on the role of the state in economic activity, from the politics of the welfare state and the demands of trade unions to communism, where the state controlled all economic activity. With the end of the Cold War, the demise of communism and the triumph of neoliberalism, the focus of politics began to shift. The subject of political discussion moved from traditional political parties and into social movements based on group identity and moral concern. Different kinds of people found themselves in favour of or opposed to movements supporting environmental protection, women’s rights, justice for ethnic and racial minorities, and the right to abortion or same-sex marriage. These movements and the people who belong to them take more of a public stand on matters that would, at one time, have been regarded as a matter of private opinion. Nor do they sit on a neatly definable political spectrum (N. Fraser 2008).

Nostalgic for an earlier politics, some people regret the eclipse of those straight- forward claims for economic justice that were the basis of traditional left–right politics. Others warn of social fragmentation as different kinds of people make loud and insistent moral claims and establish agendas for action that are antithetical to each other (Cope and Kalantzis 1997b). Still others think this ‘postmodern’ politics is a good thing, opening up issues that have been ignored in the past, and addressing injustices that would otherwise have been perpetuated (Bauman 1992).