In this article, Henry Giroux explores two sides of one question: 1) why scholars working within the area of cultural studies do not take seriously pedagogy and the role of schools in shaping culture and politics; and 2) why educators have not engaged the possibilities inherent in a cultural studies framework to analyze central questions of teaching and learning. In particular, Giroux analyzes how youth are increasingly being addressed and positioned through the popular media, changing economic conditions, and an escalating wave of violence. He illustrates, both through theory and examples of his own teaching, how the pedagogy and the mobilization of desire implicit in several recent Hollywood films about youth culture reinforce dominant racist and cultural stereotypes, but also how the use of various critical pedagogical strategies in the classroom can create the conditions for rewriting such films.

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