In academia, the effects of the “cultural turn” have been felt deeply. In everyday life, tenets from cultural politics have influenced how people behave or regard their options for action, such as the reconfiguration of social movements, protests, and praxis in general. Many authors writing in this field are known for their scholarship and social activism, both of which are arguably guided by principles of cultural politics about the nature of representation and the deployment of power in political discourses.
The Handbook of Cultural Politics and Education is less an attempt to standardize contemporary educational scholarship and more a collection that engages the problems and promises of recent themes in social and cultural thought, which require our attention and demand a response. In other words, it opens doors to questions rather than convenient answers to difficult educational dilemmas. The Handbook is part of the appraisal of an opening created by interdisciplinary writings on such themes as representation, civil society, cultural struggle, subjectivity, and media within the context of education. Indeed cultural politics troubles traditional frameworks in search of critical explanations concerning education’s place within society. The contributions in the collection support this endeavor.
“In these difficult times, critical pedagogy needs all the theoretical inspiration it can muster. This formidable collection of provocative texts, skillfully edited by Zeus Leonardo, draws on a wide range of ideas from leading contemporary theorists and imaginatively applies their lessons to the thorny problems of the real world.”
—Martin Jay, Sidney Hellman Ehrman Professor of History, University of California, Berkeley “This volume is a cutting-edge contribution to the study of cultural politics in education. Chapter authors affirm the critical role of culture as a set of material practices; they excavate and develop foundational thinking on ideology, discourse, race, and the array of post-studies in social theory. The book is at once an accessible introduction to, and a brilliant advancement of, the field of cultural analysis.”
—Jean Anyon, Professor of Urban Education at City University of New York, Graduate Center and author of Ghetto Schooling