Introduction: Theorizing from and Traveling toward a Radical Democratic Habitus
This chapter explores the author’s journeys back and forth between critical democratic theory and radical political engagement in order to suggest a new ecology of scholarly and pedagogical practices more conducive to generating illuminating theory and powerful democratic practice in our times. Beyond the hyperprofessionalization of higher education, a new academic habitus can play a crucial role in cocreating a radical democratic habitus capable of powerfully resisting and providing alternatives to neoliberal capitalism that is destroying democracy, planetary ecology, and higher education itself. The chapter provides an overview of several dimensions of this project—from resonance to movement, to complex system dynamics, to shock democracy—each of which is discussed separately in the several chapters that follow. It orients the reader to the author’s democratic action research experiments pursued in a movement for democratic and ecological transformation at Northern Arizona University and in surrounding communities.