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Abstract

In the current Age of Globalization a neo-liberal ideology has come to the forefront, and scholars have pointed out that the effect of this market-oriented approach on society has been catastrophic. In particular, many argue that the field of education is producing self-absorbed students, as each individual simply prepares to enter the labor market. Moreover, the emphasis on individualism has destroyed any sense of community solidarity. In the end, these outcomes have resulted in inauthentic behavior; that is, people simply treat one another as a means to gain access to the marketplace. However, in the field of education, service-learning— which links academics to community service—is seen as a remedy for the lack of social responsibility visible in today’s world. Nonetheless, the current dualistic conceptualization of service-learning only perpetuates the individualistic mind-set, because the focus of service has been to change student consciousness. But this emphasis is flawed and ignores institutionalized practices that promote and perpetuate inequality. The point of this article is to demonstrate that a conceptual change in service-learning is necessary for students to achieve authenticity. Specifically, service-learning programs must convey that consciousness and the world are coterminous, and thus reality is shaped by the human presence.

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