The Other in Self: Acknowledging Complicity in Multicultural Education


  • Jenna Min Shim University of Wyoming


Scritical self-reflexivity, symbolic violence, materialist models of the subject, double consciousness, multicultural education


In this essay, employing Bourdieu’s sociological theory, in particular, his concepts of reflexivity, symbolic violence, and materialist models of the subjects and Dubois’s construct of double consciousness, I discuss and analyze the dilemmas that I experience as a racial minority teacher educator in my effort to practice self- reflexivity in my own multicultural teacher education classrooms. In doing so, I demonstrate empirically the forceful and involuntary presence of the dominant Other that underwrite my consciousness demonstrating the danger involved in automatically assuming an insider status solely by one’s heritage. I attempt to show the power of unexamined beliefs that constrain multicultural teaching practices against the status quo and the importance of critically examining beliefs in changing teaching practices. My ultimate hope for this self-inquiry is that the result of this work could extend beyond self-improvement to impact and advance the scholarship of multicultural teaching and learning.

Author Biography

Jenna Min Shim, University of Wyoming

Jenna Min Shim is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of Wyoming.  Her primary research interests center on curriculum theory and critical multicultural pedagogies with the specific goal of contributing to social change in favor of historically marginalized groups.




How to Cite

Shim, J. M. (2014). The Other in Self: Acknowledging Complicity in Multicultural Education. Current Issues in Education, 17(1). Retrieved from