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ERIC Number: EJ834718
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Dec
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 23
ISSN: ISSN-0159-6306
Nostalgic for What? The Epidemic of Images of the Mid 20th Century Classroom in American Media Culture and What it Means
Otto, Stacy
Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, v26 n4 p459-475 Dec 2005
Within this paper the author examines the current nostalgia for a never-present past through critical analysis of images of the mid 20th century American classroom in media culture. The author uses theories of nostalgia and the history of the photographic image to trouble the numerous equity issues surrounding the unchallenged canonization of the 1950s classroom by asking: "Who is reproducing this time in media culture and why?"; "Is the American public being asked to be nostalgic for these images, or is society somehow creating a desire for this narrow and inequitable educational past?" The author examines such nostalgia by looking at the primary role and power of vision in Western popular culture, the theoretical nature of historic preservation, the assumed innocence of the child and the similar innocence of the immediate post-World War II decade, and the role which modern technology plays in the reproduction of that decade. As an affect, nostalgia is fueled by those things that are wholly in the past-or that never were. The author looks to images of television programs and advertisements, reading them as cultural texts, and concludes that it is vitally important to the landscape of educational theory and reform to reconcile such nostalgia for another epoch in education with the pedagogical theory and practice of the present.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A