Who is my neighbour? Unleashing our postcolonial consciousness

Christine Fox


It is all too easy to be discouraged, indeed, outraged, by the continuing state of socio-economic inequality and the fragility of ‘the neighbourhood’ (our world) in a deteriorating, conflict-ridden environment.   As educators, we struggle with the perceived lack of educational quality, relevance, and ethics of policy and practice. Education systems tend to reflect the political ideologies of the day, many of which are socially and economically divisive and hostile to equitable change.  It is crucial to condemn, in the strongest manner, current racist, separatist, and discriminatory views that tend to permeate our social media space, affecting public attitudes. 

Comparative and international education theorists and practitioners can play a crucial role in critiquing, through the lens of critical postcolonial awareness, such socio-political constructions of society and education.  The observations made in this article refer in particular to comparativists in Oceania, a region containing both large economies such as Australia, and small Pacific island states.  This paper sets out an argument for ‘unleashing our global postcolonial consciousness’ to effect change, acting with non-violence and empathy in an intercultural, ethical, and actionable space (Ermine, 2007; Sharma-Brymer, 2008). 

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