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Transforming the Ivory TowerChallenging Racism, Sexism, and Homophobia in the Academy$
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Brett C. Stockdill and Mary Yu Danico

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835262

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835262.001.0001

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One Activist Intellectual’s Experience in Surviving and Transforming the Academy

One Activist Intellectual’s Experience in Surviving and Transforming the Academy

Chapter:
(p.84) Chapter Five One Activist Intellectual’s Experience in Surviving and Transforming the Academy
Source:
Transforming the Ivory Tower
Author(s):

Jose Guillermo Zapata Calderon

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824835262.003.0005

This chapter presents the author's account of his four decades as a public sociologist. His commitment to using sociology in the pursuit of social justice was inspired by the sacrifices of his parents, who were Mexican immigrant farm workers, and the courageous organizing of Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers Union. Along with his own experiences with racism and anti-immigrant prejudice, these examples of struggle propelled him to participate in antiracist and antiwar activism in the late 1960s and early 1970s. While some faculty of color feel burdened to address “minority issues,” he views antiracist activism on and off campus as his vocation. He states that “public sociology has particular salience for historically excluded individuals from diverse racial, class, gender, and sexuality backgrounds, for whom the educational experience can be both an alienating and empowering experience.” He outlines a wide array of community-based teaching and community-based research projects that encapsulate his role as a public sociologist and social change agent.

Keywords:   public sociologist, racism, Mexican immigrants, anti-immigrant prejudice, social justice, social change

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