Critical Thinking In Bell Hook's 'Making The Stranger Strange'

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“Making the Familiar Strange”: a sociological theory in which one must take a common belief and alter their perception of said belief in order to settle on its worth. This concept, despite its seeming simplicity, is one that many people fall short in completing. To “make the familiar strange” is to question the established norms in society and assess its value and connection to the self. Although a multitude of students enroll into college each semester, many do not acknowledge or assess the true purpose of their undergraduate education. Students across the country do not inquire the true purpose or value of higher education, ultimately contributing to the bandwagon ideal of college. Thus, to prevent students from joining the numerous others …show more content…
The topics discussed and learned throughout an undergraduate education will ultimately benefit society through the procedural and careful actions of those students. Thus, the critical thinking taught at a collegiate level will benefit and help the societal issues apparent today, thereby shaping the best self. For example, in Bell Hooks “Teaching Critical Thinking”, she discusses how college is the only space that is able to teach critical thinking and the skills needed to do so. Hooks states that “keeping an open mind is an essential requirement of critical thinking” (Hooks 10). This statement contributes to the ideal that the skills learned from critical thinking will benefit society, as open-mindedness is an essential skill to learn in order to function properly with other people due to the ever-changing societal opinions. Hooks ultimately contributes to this ideal that college is valuable due to the skills learned and its impact on society. Also, it is perceived through society that people must complete certain actions in order to be a functioning member. This is reiterated in Deresiewicz’s “Words to Live By”, stating that “Citizens are active” and claiming that if we consider students as citizens, then they will eventually become citizens (Deresiewicz 2). This ideal of claiming students as citizens contributes to the societal model: if colleges treat students similar to citizens, then the students will become active citizens in society. Thus, by presenting the ideals of critical thinking and society to college students, the students will ultimately impact understand societal procedures. This comprehension of societal needs will contribute to building the best self externally. However, it is also important to note that college/higher education is a space to build on one’s self internally as

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