RethinkingPopular Culture and Media

Veryfew people would not agree with the fact that good teachers instillpractical knowledge in their students’ lives. But what would happenwhen a child’s life is saturated by some form of corporateinfluences, which would promote consumption value, hierarchy,competition, homophobia, and racism? What should an educator do?Through RethinkPopular Culture and Media, thesequestions are answered. Articles under this collection are drawn fromthe archives of RethinkingSchools,and they are offering an insightful analysis of the media, as well asthe popular culture (Marshallet al.134).In addition, it also suggests the ways through which both youth andadults can be assisted to reflect on the useful aspects of life,which might have been taken for granted.

ExaminingClass, Race, Sexuality, Social Histories and Gender

Boththe media and popular culture relentlessly reproduce an existingrelationship between a subordinate and a dominant group. As such, aculture that has been produced for mass consumption would always seekto remove the difference and would make certain racist, colonialist,sexist and classist colonial representations to appear as if they arenatural (Bennett 167). Since much of these representations arecirculated widely as both natural and normal, the author of thissection tried to make a visible idea concerning gender, class, andrace, which masqueraded as being fixed and authoritative. The authorshave challenged racist representations and gender stereotypes indifferent locales in the media for instance, toys, music videos,cartoons, and movies and they have connected the discussions to theexisting curricular goals.

Contributorshave as well offered different strategies, which have involvedsending of students to a toy store, field trip, providing studentswith surveys, and giving a comprehensive content analysis of thepopular texts (Marshallet al.156).These contributors have also given guidance in discussion questions.The authors in this section have also shared both strategies andexplanations on how work would proceed with the students. The authorsdo not simply uncover the bias they as well give an illustration onhow this type of work might occur with a student while they aremodeling on the type of critical engagement that would be taken up intheir classrooms.

TakingAction for a Just Society

Themedia and popular culture give a representation of the opportunitiesthat both a student and a teacher can take in and out of theirclassrooms. Here, the authors have given a description of the mannersin which a student and a teacher would resist corporate incursions intheir daily lives (Bennett 267). Furthermore, the authors givesuggestions of how an educator would use media and popular culture tocarryout an examination on issues like violence, privilege, power,and exploitation. The authors began by an assumption that youngchildren could also be ‘political’ and they are able tounderstand and question any form of inequality.


Asa final verdict, we can say that popular culture is a way forchildren, teens, and adults to reposition themselves from machinecogs to the social intent of the actors on resisting, rewriting andjamming the quo status. Therefore, the author has provided us withexamples of critical literacy of media, whereby a critique wouldprovide a way to protest and where both teachers and students wouldhave access and power over the daily media that they view, read andconsume.


Bennett,David. MulticulturalStates: Rethinking Difference and Identity.London: Routledge, 2014. Internet resource.

Marshall,Elizabeth, and Özlem Sensoy. RethinkingPopular Culture and Media.Milwaukee, WI: Rethinking Schools, 2011. Print.