In this introduction to the study of popular culture in education, Nadine Dolby offers an insightful review of the literature informing this work. Her essay sets the tone and theme for this Special Issue, and begins to address why educators and educational researchers should pay particular attention to popular culture. Discussing the relevant literature and introducing readers to historical debates in the field, Dolby distinguishes between various understandings of popular culture and approaches to studying its relationship to education. Ultimately, Dolby argues, the importance of popular culture and its connection to education lies in the role it plays as a site for engaging in the process of democratic practice. She encourages educators to engage young people in a deep exploration of the multiple dimensions of popular culture and the public sphere, and highlights examples of this kind of engagement.

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