Levinson, Bradley A. U. 1963-

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LEVINSON, Bradley A. U. 1963-


Born 1963. Education: University of California, Santa Cruz, B.A. (anthropology), 1984; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, M.A. (anthropology), 1989, Ph.D. (anthropology), 1993.


Office—School of Education, Indiana University, 201 North Rose Ave., Bloomington, IN 47405-1006. E-mail—[email protected]


Anthropologist. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, instructor, 1989-90, 1992; Augusta College, Rock Island, IL, assistant professor of anthropology, 1993-96; Indiana University, Bloomington, assistant professor, 1996-2001, associate professor of education, 2001—, coordinator of Ph.D. program in education policy studies, 2001—.


American Anthropological Association, Comparative and International Education Society, Latin American Studies Association, American Educational Research Association, American Association of University Professors.


Fulbright grant, 1990-91; Spencer Foundation fellowship, 1991-92; Honigmann Prize, 1991-92, dissertation fellowship, 1993, University of North Carolina; outstanding dissertation award, American Anthropological Association, 1994.


(Editor, with Douglas E. Foley and Dorothy C. Holland) The Cultural Production of the Educated Person: Critical Ethnographies of Schooling and Local Practice (part of "Power, Social Identity, and Education" series), State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 1996

(Editor, with Kathryn M. Borman, and others) Schooling the Symbolic Animal: Social and Cultural Dimensions of Education, Rowman & Littlefield (Lanham, MD), 2000

(Editor, with Margaret Sutton) Policy as Practice: Toward a Comparative Sociocultural Analysis of Educational Policy ("Sociocultural Studies in Educational Policy Formation and Appropriation, 1530-5473" series, Volume 1), Ablex Publishing (Stamford, CT), 2001.

We Are All Equal: Student Culture and Identity at a Mexican Secondary School, 1988-1998, Duke University Press (Durham, NC), 2001

(Editor, with others) Ethnography and Educational Policy across the Americas ("Sociocultural Studies in Educational Policy Formation and Appropriation, 1530-5473" series, Volume 3), Praeger (Westport, CT), 2002.

Contributor to books, including Education in the New Latino Diaspora: Policy and the Politics of Identity, edited by S. Wortham and others, Ablex Press (West-port, CT), 2001, and to periodicals, including American Anthropologist and Comparative Education Review.


Anthropologist and Indiana University associate professor Bradley A. U. Levinson's interests include youth and student culture and identity formation both in Mexico and the United States, as well as Latin-American migration, education, and ethnography. His We Are All Equal: Student Culture and Identity at a Mexican Secondary School, 1988-1998 is based on his Ph.D. dissertation at the University of North Carolina and is a study of a class of students, equivalent to ninth grade, in San Pablo in west central Mexico. He begins by making clear his progressive goals of peace and social justice and comments on what he sees as the extreme individualism and selfishness exhibited in the United States. Augusto Pescador wrote in Comparative Education Review that "the success of Levinson's work rests on his honesty and affirmation of the ideology guiding his inquiry."

Levinson observes that the culture in which these students are nurtured in San Pablo is one of equality and regard for the group over the individual. Martha Montero-Sieburth noted in a review on the American Anthropological Association Web site that Levinson studies how the students "respond to school through rituals, routines, gender, class, and social differences, and how they are socialized into a consumer culture and influenced by the media.… Levinson analyzes the ways in which teachers' curriculum and pedagogical practices are evaluated in a cultural game of equality and solidarity, as relationships, aspirations, tensions, and contradictions are played out through class, ethnic, gender, and age differences—all of which complement school group identity and solidarity in what he calls a schooled identity versus unschooled identity." Levinson concludes with an overview of the students and their community, including the economic factors that impacted the lives of the students, five years after his original study.

Levinson is also coeditor of a number of volumes, including Ethnography and Education Policy across the Americas, which grew out of a 1999 symposium. John M. Watkins, reviewing the book on the American Anthropological Association Web site, noted that one of the ideas that emerges in the chapters is that "U.S. ethnographers see themselves less as 'public intellectuals' than their Latin American counterparts; hence, engaging actively in public discourse is less common in the United States, hindering ethnography's influence on policy.… Another difference is that U.S. policy categories focus more on race, ethnicity, and gender, and less on class."

The writers describe how tensions between "state workers" and "professionals" are increased as a result of globalization, the rise of poverty, and decline in funding of social programs, and how policy is shaped by ethnic and geographic differences, educational decentralization, and other dynamics. Watkins felt that "certain ideas stand out in the book. Complex notions of majority v. minority are examined as those influence political processes of 'choosing' what categories to use (and the results for what is then rendered invisible), the historical forces that create those categories, and how current economic and political forces are resulting in change.… There is, overall, a delicious variation in exploration of the ethnography of policy in this book."



Comparative Education Review, November, 2002, Octavio Augusto Pescador, review of We Are All Equal: Student Culture and Identity at a Mexican Secondary School, 1988-1998, p. 509.

Library Journal, June 1, 2001, Boyd Childress, review of We Are All Equal, p. 194.


American Anthropological Association Online,http://www.aaanet.org/ (July 23, 2004), Martha Montero-Sieburth, review of We Are All Equal; John M. Watkins, review of Ethnography and Education Policy across the Americas.

Indiana University School of Education Web site,http://www.education.indiana.edu/ (July 23, 2004), "Bradley Levinson."*