Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Postmodern Education

Postmodern Education: Politics, Culture, and Social Criticism

Stanley Aronowitz
Henry A. Giroux
Copyright Date: 1991
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 216
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Postmodern Education
    Book Description:

    The first book to offer a systematic look at the significance of postmodernist ideas for education. “In Postmodern Education Aronowitz and Giroux are architects of the imagination, presenting essays of political, social, and cultural criticism aimed at altering the ways we understand the existing social order and act to change the conditions of our lives.” --Afterimage

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-8350-5
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-2)
  4. Chapter 1 Introduction: Class, Race, and Gender in Educational Politics
    (pp. 3-23)

    Running against the 1960s has become nearly a sure-fire prescription for political success in the United States today. Whether the target is drugs, rock music, or the liberal arts curriculum in public schools, the new wisdom, sometimes called the “new puritanism,” seems to accord with everyday life, which is experienced by many as tougher, more competitive, and more dangerous. In a recent poll 86 percent of those surveyed agreed that drugs were the number one domestic priority in the United States. It was taken after six months of a media assault urging Americans, especially youth, to “just say no to...

  5. Chapter 2 Textual Authority, Culture, and the Politics of Literacy
    (pp. 24-56)

    Since the second term of the Reagan administration, the debate on education has taken a new turn. Now, as before, the tone is principally set by the right, but its position has been radically altered. The importance of linking educational reform to the needs of big business has continued to influence the debate, while demands that schools provide the skills necessary for domestic production and expanding capital abroad have slowly given way to an overriding emphasis on schools as sites of cultural production. The emphasis on cultural production can be seen in current attempts to address the issue of cultural...

  6. Chapter 3 Postmodernism and the Discourse of Educational Criticism
    (pp. 57-86)

    Educational theory and practice have always been strongly wedded to the language and assumptions of modernism. Educators as diverse as John Dewey (1916), Ralph Tyler (1950), Herb Gintis (Bowles and Gintis, 1976), John Goodlad (1984), and Martin Carnoy (Carnoy and Levin, 1985) have shared a faith in those modernist ideals that stress the capacity of individuals to think critically, to exercise social responsibility, and to remake the world in the interest of the Enlightenment dream of reason and freedom. Central to this view of education and modernity has been an abiding faith in the ability of individuals to situate themselves...

  7. Chapter 4 Cultural Politics, Reading Formations, and the Role of Teachers as Public Intellectuals
    (pp. 87-113)

    During the last two decades educational critics have made a number of important gains in developing a critical theory of curriculum and education. In particular, critical theorists have begun to provide a language of critique by which to analyze and demystify the role that schools play as agencies of moral and political regulation; a programmatic language by which to understand schools as sites of critical learning and social empowerment has also arisen from their work.

    Central to this project has been the more recent work of theorizing curriculum as a form of cultural politics. In this view, the relationship between...

  8. Chapter 5 Border Pedagogy in the Age of Postmodernism
    (pp. 114-135)

    Within the last two decades, the varied discourses known as postmodernism have exercised a strong influence on the nature of intellectual life in a variety of disciplines both in and out of the university. As a form of cultural criticism, postmodernism has challenged a number of assumptions central to the discourse of modernism. These include modernism’s reliance on metaphysical notions of the subject; its advocacy of science, technology, and rationality as the foundation for equating change with progress; its ethnocentric equation of history with the triumphs of European civilization; and its globalizing view that the industrialized Western countries constitute “a...

  9. Chapter 6 The Punishment of Disciplines: Cultural Studies and the Transformation of Legitimate Knowledge
    (pp. 136-156)

    Schools and universities are plagued by a litany of complaints that threaten to dominate the debate until the end of this century. While students are frequently blamed for the sad state of affairs of public literacy, educators, employers, and other critics are increasingly blaming the culture. Western civilization’s decline may be traced by such critics to the ubiquity of electronically mediated culture; to the excess of democratic practices that have cropped up in our polity since the sixties; to the rise and triumph of pleasure; to the postmodern condition in which the past is devalued, particularly the literary and philosophical...

  10. Chapter 7 Working-Class Displacements and Postmodern Representations
    (pp. 157-184)

    One of the crucial political innovations of the emergent social movements of the last twenty years is to enlarge the scope of what is subjectively perceived as oppression. To the time-honored struggle against the material effects of exploitation and domination manifested in jobs and public accommodations—discrimination, official violence, and social indignities—feminists and people of color, especially, have called attention to the question ofrepresentationin a great variety of contexts. Critics have scrutinized film and television, mass circulation newspapers, magazines, and textbooks. They have conclusively demonstrated the astonishing range of distorted images with which subordinate groups have been...

  11. Chapter 8 Conclusion: Postmodernism as Politics — Beyond Difference as Technological Utopianism and Cultural Separatism
    (pp. 185-194)

    The last decade is marked by the emergence of two crosscurrents that appear paradoxical from the standpoint of traditional social and cultural theory. On the one side is the triumph of political conservatism in the West, concomitant with the end of the postwar economic boom in the wake of a long wave of recession and stagnation as well as the breakup of communist hegemonies in eastern Europe and Asia. From this perspective interventionist Keynesianism appears dead even as state expenditures continue to grow and the ubiquity of executive authorities within social life spreads. Similarly, the disparity between ideology and practice...

  12. Index
    (pp. 197-205)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 206-206)