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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Critical consciousness refers to the ability to recognize and analyze oppressive political, economic, and social forces shaping society and to take action against these forces. Critical consciousness is often conceptualized as consisting of three distinct yet overlapping dimensions: critical reflection, political self-efficacy, and sociopolitical action. In this chapter, the authors report on a growing body of scholarship that has found critical consciousness to be predictive of a number of key outcomes for individuals from oppressed groups and their communities. They also report on a number of conceptual frameworks theorizing the processes underlying critical consciousness development, describe several new scales for measuring such development, and review a diverse set of pedagogical approaches to fostering critical consciousness. The chapter concludes with several of the key issues that the authors believe are ripe for scholars interested in critical consciousness and sociopolitical development to take on in the coming years.

Keywords: critical consciousness, sociopolitical development, civic development, critical pedagogy, youth activism

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