|[A]t a certain point in their existential experience the
oppressed feel an irresistible attraction towards the oppressor and his way of
life. Sharing this way of life becomes an overpowering aspiration. In their
alienation, the oppressed want at any cost to resemble the oppressor, to
imitate him, to follow him (Freire, 1970, p. 49).
In this, Freire subscribes to the neo-marxian thesis of
"false consciousness," that the oppressed are not aware of their
"true" vocation; "humanization" (p. 49).
Yet, such a view reflects those of the educator and not
necessarily the literacy learners' own perceptions. However participatory in
intent, Freire's purpose is to critically confront the illiterate with
"objective reality" (p. 37) and through "dialogue," begin
the long transformative path toward liberation and social justice (p. 47). As
Myron C. Tuman (1987, p. 152) points out, however, at issue is not how
participatory educators might "fulfill their own political agenda but how
to enable students to exercise power themselves" in ways that they deem
appropriate, however limiting it may seem to the literacy educator. Even for
participatory literacy educators like Hannah Fingeret and Paul Jurmo, who are
less concerned about adherence to neo-marxian political ideology, the issue of
direction poses a not easily resolvable dilemma. If adult learners express
little interest in exercising "active control" of literacy learning
and program management, then at issue is the extent to which the educator can
and should foster an ideology of direct participation.