Public Intellectual

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Write a case study of a teacher / educator you consider to be a public intellectual and explain why.

During this assignment I am going to do a case study on a person I consider to be a public intellectual. There are a number of discourses surrounding the ideology of what it means to be a public intellect. In regards to this essay I will be defining a public intellect in accordance with Gramsci view of an organic intellectual as, ‘the function of the intellectual is to help the oppressed understand their own exploitative class positioning’ (Hoben, undated, p4). In accordance with this I will base my case study on Dianne Lee, who was a lecturer in a college I attended. Her academic disciplines were sociology, history and English Language and Literature. Despite being a lecturer, Dianne was also a humanitarian who actively participated in a number of charities, in the United Kingdom and various third world countries. I would consider Dianne to be a pubic intellect, and for the remainder of this essay I aim to show the characteristics such as knowledge and activism, she possesses which support and enable her to be a public intellect. One of the key characteristics of a public intellect is the knowledge they possess and how they use it to incorporate change. According to Said (1993) a public intellects mission is to advance human freedom and Knowledge (Lightman, undated). Even though she was a college lecturer, disciplined within sociology, English and history, Dianne was also able to talk about a wide range of subjects outside her field. One of the ways she promoted change was using an authoritarian position by sharing her own knowledge and expertise which in turn allowed us to re-evaluate ourselves. This allowed us the platform to incorporate her knowledge into our discussions inside and outside the classroom. The act of sharing showed the variations of capacities and levels of acquired knowledge (Bini, 2010). This in turn allowed us as pupils to question our...
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