ERIC Number: EJ865410
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Reference Count: 78
Searching for Politics with Henry Giroux: Through Cultural Studies to Public Pedagogy and the "Terror of Neoliberalism"
Robbins, Christopher G.
Review of Education, Pedagogy & Cultural Studies, v31 n5 p428-478 2009
Henry A. Giroux is recognized as one of the fifty most significant thinkers on education in the 20th century. He is also considered a scholar of immense influence in a number of fields internationally, hardly an inconsequential accolade in a century noted for a glut of educational and social thinkers. Yet, its wide-ranging and ever-expanding thought on education, culture, and politics occupies a strange place in mainstream contemporary U.S. educational thought: It is simultaneously respected and reviled, though in hardly equal measures. This article schematically explores the ways in which Giroux has operated in and through the (anti-)disciplinary field of cultural studies to leverage its tools of analysis and its practices to address the crisis in democratic politics, which, assuming that education is a central feature of any political order, points to a crisis in education broadly defined. Here, despite some perceptions of Giroux's work and some of its stated positions on the issue, method is not an unimportant consideration; it is central to understanding both the tentative conclusions Giroux draws and how the critic comes to them, while engaging how the critic performs, in print, the mode of praxis one otherwise finds registered at the level of theory in its work. The author posits general ideas about Giroux formulation/extension of the idea of public pedagogy, in which the critic melds crucial practices from both cultural studies and critical pedagogy. In the remaining sections, the author engages and expands upon Giroux's specific analyses of neoliberal cultural politics and what the critic and others have noted as an emerging authoritarianism. (Contains 5 notes.)
Descriptors: Critical Theory, Educational Philosophy, Cultural Context, Politics, Teaching Methods, Political Attitudes, Criticism, Power Structure, Social Systems
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A