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Searching for Politics with Henry Giroux: Through Cultural Studies to Public Pedagogy and the “Terror of Neoliberalism”

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... Although some researchers studying popular culture (see Crowley & Rasmussen, 2010;Grummell, 2010;Sandlin, 2010;Tisdell, 2008;Wright, 2007) have collected compelling accounts of how individuals receive and utilize public pedagogies, this practice has not been widely applied to the majority of other informal sites of learning identified in the literature. Although these critiques have previously been leveled at H. A. Giroux's body of work (see C. G. Robbins, 2009), other authors such as Ellsworth (2005) and Lacy (1995) also limit their analyses of public spaces of learning to the perspective of the researcher or the site itself. In calling for researchers to explore more fully the pedagogical processes of public pedagogy, we are not calling for public pedagogy research that utilizes empirical data as proof toward positivistic truth claims; rather, we argue for research that articulates a multitude of interpretations and that draws on psychoanalytical, phenomenological, existential, and poststructural understandings of learning to develop an empiricism that honors the complexity and ambiguity inherent in the mechanisms and processes of public pedagogy. ...
... Cognizant of this dilemma and faced with space constraints, we have opted to redact his references to selected representative citations and to provide this contextual information. For an extensive treatment of Giroux's body of work, see C. G. Robbins's (2009) excellent review. 2 The kinds of critical analyses of texts that Giroux and other authors perform for both academic (e.g., most of the pieces of literature were reviewed for this study) and more general audiences (e.g., through books like H. A. Giroux's, 1999, The Mouse That Roared and his appearances in documentaries about popular culture such as Mickey Mouse Monopoly [Sun & Picker, 2001]) also become enactments of public pedagogy, a point we take up more fully in the public intellectualism section of this article. 3 The related issue of what "public" means is also mostly unexplored in the literature. ...
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The term public pedagogy first appeared in 1894 and has been widely deployed as a theoretical construct in education research to focus on processes and sites of education beyond formal schooling, with a proliferation of its use by feminist and critical theorists occurring since the mid-1990s. This integrative literature review provides the first synthesis of public pedagogy research through a thematic analysis of a sample of 420 publications. Finding that the public pedagogy construct is often undertheorized and ambiguously presented in education research literature, the study identifies five primary categories of extant public pedagogy research: (a) citizenship within and beyond schools, (b) popular culture and everyday life, (c) informal institutions and public spaces, (d) dominant cultural discourses, and (e) public intellectualism and social activism. These categories provide researchers with a conceptual framework for investigating public pedagogy and for locating future scholarship. The study identifies the need for theoretical specificity in research that employs the public pedagogy construct and for empirical studies that investigate the processes of public pedagogy, particularly in terms of the learner’s perspective.
... Lipman went on to write "the power of neoliberalism lies in its saturation of social practices and consciousness, making it difficult to think otherwise" (p. 6). Other scholars have also written about the increasing presence of neoliberalism in U.S. institutions (see Davison & Shire, 2015;Giroux, 2003;2004;Harvey, 2007;Olssen, 2006;Robbins, 2009) . Indeed, David Harvey (2007 argued that neoliberalism "has in effect swept across the world like a vast tidal wave of institutional reform and discursive adjustment" (p. ...
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In this manuscript, we argue that the increasing use of reductive tools born out of neoliberal reforms in education, such as The Framework for Teaching, a tool for teacher evaluation credited to Charlotte Danielson, limits the possibilities for emergent, improvisational teaching. We consider the broader political landscape of the last 25 years to suggest that The Framework for Teaching illuminates a preoccupation in education with so-called measurable results in ways that hurt teachers while advancing political agendas and profiting private corporations. Next, we rely on storytelling methodology to critique the framework and offer alternative ways of thinking about teacher evaluation. Ultimately, our critique intends to prompt more humane understandings of teacher evaluation, thereby permitting and engendering improvisational pedagogies.
... Lipman went on to write "the power of neoliberalism lies in its saturation of social practices and consciousness, making it difficult to think otherwise" (p. 6). Other scholars have also written about the increasing presence of neoliberalism in U.S. institutions (see Davidson & Shire, 2015;Harvey, 2007;Giroux 2003Giroux , 2004Giroux , 2014Olssen, 2006;Robbins 2009). Indeed, David Harvey (2007) argued that neoliberalism "has in effect swept across the world like a vast tidal wave of institutional reform and discursive adjustment" (p. ...
... Given this study's interest in both the personal and political, it is perhaps inevitable that the second wave of the prismatic bricolage belongs to the paradigm of public pedagogy (Burdick, Sandlin, & O'Malley, 2014;Giroux, 1999;Jones et al., 2012;Robbins, 2009;Sandlin et al., 2010b) which accepts that '"pedagogy" is not restricted to schools' (Kenway & Fahey, 2011, p. 167) and problematizes the personal/public divide. The paradigm of public pedagogy is elevated as the second wave of the research bricolage within which 'a radical interdisciplinary and contextualized sensibility towards research and theorizing [is possible], one that draws from a wide range of cultural discourses and that seeks to inhabit the complex, often ambiguous, space of pedagogical address' (Sandlin, Schultz, & Burdick, 2010a, p. 3). ...
Thesis
This qualitative study charts the lived narratives of twelve participants, six teachers and six students from urban and rural Victoria, Australia. The study examines in detail the question ‘How do teachers teach, post 9/11?’. 9/11 has become accepted shorthand for September 11th 2001, in which terrorist attacks took place in the United States of America. The attacks heralded a ‘post- 9/11 world, [in which] threats are defined more by the fault lines within societies than by the territorial boundaries between them’ (National Commission on Terrorist Attacks, 2011, p. 361). The study is embedded in the values that have come to the fore in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and the ideological shifts that have occurred globally. These values and ideologies are reflected via issues of culture and consumption. In education this is particularly visible through pedagogy. The research employs a multimethodological (Esteban-Guitart, 2012) form of inquiry through the use of bricolage (Kincheloe & Berry, 2004) which is comprised at the intersectional points of critical pedagogy (Kincheloe, 2008b), public pedagogy (Sandlin, Schultz, & Burdick, 2010b) and cultural studies (Hall, Hobson, Lowe, & Willis, 1992). This study adopts a critical ontological perspective, and is grounded in qualitative research approaches (Lather & St. Pierre, 2013). The methods of photo elicitation, artefact analysis, video observation and semi-structured interviews are used to critically examine the ways in which teacher and student identities are shaped by the pedagogies of contemporary schooling, and how they form common sense understandings of the world and themselves, charting possibilities between accepted common sense beliefs and 21st century neoliberal capitalism. The research is presented through a prototypical form of literary journalism and intertextuality which examines the interrelationship between teaching and social worlds exposing the hidden influence of enculturation and addressing the question ‘How do teachers teach, post 9/11?’
... This transformative potential is one of the reasons why the JHC may be seen to be engaged in public pedagogy. Another reason is the influence of neoliberalism and its promotion of an exaggerated, self-interested individualism and the loss of public space, which features prominently in the literature (Burdick and Sandlin 2013, Charman and Ryan 2015, Robbins 2009, Sandlin and Milam 2008. So damaging has been neoliberalism's influence, that Henry Giroux (2004, p. 15;2011, p. 7), has linked it to what he calls 'proto-fascism' or, borrowing from Betram Gross, 'fascism with a friendly face'. ...
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There has been a long-sustained effort to understand the causes of the Holocaust (the attempted genocide of Jewish peoples in Europe in the middle of the twentieth century) and to prevent its repetition. The Jewish Holocaust Museum and Research Centre in Melbourne, Australia is a part of that endeavour through its museum, education program and support for research, and functions as a site of Public Pedagogy.
... Essentially, we contend that Olivia's involvement with Jones and Swoopes assists in the production of a particular knowledge(s) of how to "be" a successful lesbian athlete, and therefore, we are interested in unpacking the cultural climate and the manner through which this particular knowledge is produced. As knowledge is produced, distributed, and consumed within modes of communication (Robbins, 2009), we read our selected narratives to "show how the relations of power are present in the most innocent of places" (Johnson et al., 2004, p.170). ...
Chapter
The twentieth century witnessed a strengthening of the bond between the discursive (re)production – literally, the perpetuation through language (writing, conversation …) – of specific national cultures and select sporting practices. This bond is such that sport has become arguably the most emotive – peacetime – vehicle for harnessing and expressing bonds of national cultural affiliation. These sporting discourses often reflect and reproduce social hierarchies,1 are often highly gendered and offer particular constructions of the character, culture and the historical trajectory of a people – constructions that by their very nature are acts simultaneously both of inclusion and exclusion.2 In this sense, sporting discourses often serve as a means by which particular dominant groups further (re)define the parameters of the ‘sanctioned’ national identity and these discourses are often mobilized and appropriated with regard to the organization and discipline of daily life. Thus, they play a key part in the shaping and ‘education’ of citizens and in the service of particular corporate-political agendas.3
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We begin this book by locating our writing in what are very interesting times. We are but a stone's throw into the new millennium, yet we are in a moment dominated by perpetual war; financial crises; enhanced security; terror threats; the seeming ubiquitous celebration of the free market; an increased emphasis on individual responsibility for all facets of everyday life; a rampant media and culture industry that entertains us and educates us in how to act, behave, and live; higher education systems that increasingly act as handmaidens for government and corporations; and the downgrading and diminished import of any public and social services (health services, education, transportation, and so on). As popular cultural forms-both in terms of popularity and in the sense that Stuart Hall (1981) proposed, with respect to how they function as a continuing tension (relationship, influence, and antagonism) to the dominant culture-sporting practices, experiences, and structures are far from distinct from this context. As Giardina (2005, 7) proposes, contemporary sport finds itself sutured into and through this context; "global (cultural) sporting agents, intermediaries, and institutions actively work as pedagogical sites to hegemonically re-inscribe and re-present (hetero)-normative discourses on sport, culture, nation, and democracy throughout an ascendant global capitalist order." Thus, this book offers an insight into how sport, as a component of popular culture, acts as a powerful educational force that, through pedagogical relations and practices, organizes identity, citizenship, and agency within a neoliberal present (Giroux and Giroux 2006). We begin by thinking through the current neoliberal moment, both in the United States and, to some degree, beyond (specifically the United Kingdom and Canada). It is our contention that neoliberalism has its ideological and figurative core in the United States-hence the focus of this project. Nonetheless, it equally possesses a truly international reach. This signposts our future work examining the relationship between sport and neoliberalism in a variety of national contexts (settings that differ in terms of geography, level of economic development, and mode of governance, and thus the precise way that the sport and neoliberalism relation is enacted). Having spatially and historically located the trajectory of neoliberalism in its seemingly relentless march toward becoming an ascendant ordering logic of contemporary societies, we then begin to sketch how such processes have been manifest in sport, suggesting that much work is needed to begin to understand the variety of ways that neoliberalism (in its various mutations) has been both understood and mobilized within sporting contexts. This leads to introducing each of the chapters solicited for this text, contributions that begin to fill the void in our understandings of the articulations between the heterogeneous complexities of neoliberal ideology, political praxis, pedagogy, and sport.
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Over the past 30 years Physical Cultural Studies (PCS) (Andrews, 2008) has grown in the United States. This form of radical inquiry has been heavily influenced by the British Center for Contemporary Cultural Studies. PCS research has focused on the various ways the corporeal has been a/effected by, and, indeed, (re)informs the contemporary socioeconomic context. However, while theoretical rigor has long been the norm in American PCS, I argue that the critical (public) pedagogy that radically contextual Cultural Studies has always called for has been a little slower in developing. As such, I will demonstrate how Henry Giroux's influence in, on, and for critical pedagogy has more recently become and should be an essential component of PCS-particularly in our classrooms. As such, I will provide examples outlining how critical pedagogy informs my classroom practices to begin the dialogue about what constitutes good pedagogical work.
Perhaps more extensively and provocatively than any other contemporary theorist, Henry Giroux has theorized the relationship between youth and democratic public life. Beginning arguably with his first book, Ideology, Culture, and the Process of Schooling (Temple University Press, 1981), and continuing across a number of critically acclaimed works in the 1980s and early 1990s, Giroux uncompromisingly theorized the relationship between schooling and democracy, implicitly registering the importance of youth to a vibrant, radical democracy. Giroux redefined and expanded his analytic in the early 1990s with forays into postmodern theory, critical feminism, and media and cultural studies, among many other fields. With this redefined (and to this day evolving) analytic frame came an intensified effort to explicitly theorize the category of youth and analyze the broad socio-political, cultural and economic shifts that simultaneously transformed everyday life for youth and the 'image' - or figure - of youth across a range of sites, including policy discourse, news reportage and popular film. Yet, unlike other scholars and critics who considered youth in the 1990s (and today), Giroux also situated youth in relationship to the intellectual and her/his re-articulation amid these shifts. Giroux's contributions in this regard are singular and predictably compelling. In this article, the author considers the underlying method by which Giroux has theorized the relationships between youth, the intellectual, and democratic public life, while highlighting the contemporary relevance of this aspect of Giroux's massive body of work by appropriating it in an analysis of one intensification of the current war on youth found in the increasing use of tasers on children and youth in schools.
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Cultural studies seems to have passed into the shadows of academic interests, replaced by globalization and political economy as the new millennium's privileged concerns among left academics. Yet, cultural studies' longstanding interest in the interrelationship of power, politics, and culture remains critically important. Matters of agency, conscious- ness, pedagogy, and rhetoric are central to any public discourse about politics, not to mention education itself. Hence, this article argues that the promise of cultural studies, especially as a fundamental aspect of higher education, resides in a larger transformative and democratic politics in which matters of pedagogy and agency play a central role.
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Background/Context Ever since the Enlightenment, there has been a strong tendency in educational theory and practice to think of education as the “production” of a subject with particular qualities, most notably the quality of rationality. This way of thinking has deeply influenced the theory and practice of democratic education and has led to an approach that is both instrumentalistic (it sees education as the instrument for the production of the democratic person) and individualistic (it conceives of the democratic person as an isolated individual with a pre-defined set of knowledge, skills and dispositions). Focus of Study In this article, I argue that the way in which we understand democratic education has everything to do with our conception of the democratic person. Through a discussion of the work of Immanuel Kant, John Dewey, and Hannah Arendt I present three different answers to the question as to what it means to be a democratic person. I refer to these as an individualistic, a social, and a political conception of democratic subjectivity, respectively. I argue that each provides a different rationale for democratic education. While the individualistic and the social conception are closely connected to ideas about democratic education as the production of the democratic individual (either by educational strategies directed at this individual, or by creating opportunities for individuals to participate in democratic life), I suggest, using ideas from Hannah Arendt, that there is a different way to articulate what it means to be a democratic subject. This way of understanding what it means to be a democratic subject, to which I refer to as a political understanding of the democratic person, no longer focuses on the production of democratic individuals and no longer thinks of itself as having to prepare individuals for future democratic action. Instead, it focuses on opportunities for democratic action and democratic “learning-in-action.” Conclusions/Recommendations What schools can do—or at least should try to do—is to make democratic action possible. This involves creating conditions for children and students to be subjects and to experience what it is and means to be a subject. The learning related to this is not something that comes before democratic subjectivity. It rather follows from having been or not having been a subject. It is learning about the fragile conditions under which action and subjectivity are possible. Because subjectivity is no longer something that only occurs or is created in schools, the approach to democratic education that follows from my considerations puts the question about the responsibility for democratic education back where it actually belongs, namely, in society at large. I argue that it is an illusion to think that schools alone can produce democratic citizens. In so far as action and subjectivity are possible in schools and society, schools can perform the more modest and more realistic task of helping children and students to learn about and reflect upon the fragile conditions under which all people can act, under which all people can be a subject. A society in which individuals are not able or not allowed to act, cannot expect from its schools to produce its democratic citizens for it. I therefore conclude that schools can neither create nor save democracy— they can only support societies in which action and subjectivity are real possibilities.
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In this study, the author engages Henry Giroux's project of articulating cul tural studies with critical pedagogy and radical democracy. He argues that Giroux provides cultural studies with a critical pedagogy missing in many versions with the aim of helping to develop a more democratic culture and citizenry. The result is an intersection of critical pedagogy and cultural stud ies that enhances both enterprises, providing a cultural and transformative political dimension to critical pedagogy and a pedagogical dimension to cultural studies.
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Neo-liberalism has reached a new stage in the United States, buttressed largely by the almost seamless alliances formed among the Bush administration, religious fundamentalists, neo-conservative extremists, the dominant media, and corporate elites. This article explores the various ways in which neo-liberal cultural politics works as a form of public pedagogy to devalue the meaning of the social contract, education, and citizenship by defining higher education primarily as a financial investment and learning as a form of training for the workforce. Aggressively fostering its attack on the welfare state, unions, non-commodified public spheres, and any critical vestige of critical education, neo-liberal politics makes it increasingly more difficult to address the necessity of a political education in which active and critical political agents have to be formed, educated, and socialized into the world of politics. This article explores how the intersection of cultural studies and public pedagogy offers a challenge to both the ideology and practice of neo-liberalism as a form of cultural politics. In doing, so it outlines how the pedagogical can become more political in the classroom and how the political can become more pedagogical outside of the classroom via the educational force of the wider culture.
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Abstract In this essay, Simon Marginson focuses on self-determining academic freedom in universities, and especially the conditions and drivers of the radical-creative imagination that is manifest in sudden intellectual breaks in knowledge. Marginson’s objective is to establish foundations in political philosophy for a sociological study of the effects of the new public management (NPM) on academic self-determination and radical creativity. After discussing the radical-creative imagination, Marginson identifies the core elements of academic self-determination as agency freedom, freedom as power, and freedom as control. He then annotates each of the particular administrative and financial practices fostered by NPM in the light of these constituents of freedom, explores the implications for the radical-creative imagination, and identifies possible lines of empirical inquiry for further sociological study.
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