Erika Shaker lecture: Scapegoating youth in the war on progress

This past summer, Erika Shaker, Director of CCPA's Education Project, was invited to deliver a lecture at the McMaster Centre for Scholarship in the Public Interest's 2013 Summer Institute. The Summer Institute is an intensive, two-week, interdisciplinary workshop that invites undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral fellows or doctoral recipients with an interest in youth-related research to work collaboratively with major researchers and public intellectuals to generate new scholarship and innovative modes of public communication related to the research theme: “The War on Youth.”

Erika's lecture considers how the relentless—yet ideologically bankrupt—onslaught of neoliberalism has critically impacted civil society by repeatedly reminding young citizens to keep their expectations (for social progress, for democracy, and for equity) low. Using the recent Quebec Student Strike as a starting point, her presentation explores how youth who reject the dominant “keep your expectations low” paradigm, and who remind us of our failure to commit to collective social improvement, are increasingly singled out, marginalized and dismissed, and brutalized as part of the ongoing neoliberal campaign to obliterate the notion of a collective social conscious.

Watch video from the lecture below:

(video courtesy of McMaster Unversity's Faculty of Humanities)