“In teaching about inequality, protest, and social change, I’ve sometimes cited the Moral Mondays/Forward Together movement to offer an example, or to link general principles to local events.
“In doing so, I’ve found that, in a class of thirty or so students, only a few will know what I’m referring to, let alone who is protesting what. I am thus reminded that most of the time students spend on their smartphones is not devoted to following the news but to communicating with their equally detached peers….
“It would be a mistake to blame students for what they don’t know, to chide them for being absorbed in social media or celebrity trivia. Students are products of their culture, time, and place. As are we all. If college students today know more about the Kardashians than about politics and policy, it’s because of what they’ve been taught to mind and taught to ignore….”