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Resistance Theory

Resistance theory promotes a politicized reading of the actions taken by students to oppose power hierarchies that reinforce systemic inequity related to class, gender, race, and sexuality through the imposition of curricula, rules, and culture in schools. Grounded in Marxism, postmodernism, feminism, and poststructuralism, resistance theorists provide perspective for the actions students take to complicate the political and social order of society that is replicated in schools. Resistance theorists argue that the moral and political acts of resistance that students engage in are too often misinterpreted and explained simply as misbehaving. Students and the groups they belong to exert agency in multiple ways with the ultimate objective of transforming the policies and institutions that create and maintain privilege for some while marginalizing others.

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