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Critically Researching Youth


Edited By Shirley R. Steinberg and Awad Ibrahim

Critically Researching Youth addresses the unique possibilities and contexts involved in deepening a discourse around youth. Authors address both social theoretical and methodological approaches as they delve into a contemporary discipline, which supports research with – not on – young adults. This volume is a refreshing change in the literature on qualitative youth, embodying the understanding of what it means to be a young woman or man. It dismisses any consideration to pathologize youth, instead addressing what society can understand and how we can act in order to support and promote them.


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Part I: Theorizing Youth and Research


part i theorizing youth and research · 1 · contextualizing corporate kids* Kinderculture as Cultural Pedagogy Shirley R. Steinberg With our crashing tidal waves of war, politics, religious influences, struggles, and advancing web 3.0 globalization come an incredible phenomenon, kinderculture. Joe Kincheloe and I introduced this phenomenon in 1997 (Steinberg & Kincheloe, 1997) as a socio-theoretical conversation about (and with) the children and youth of the late twentieth century. Our points were underpinned by the notion that kids were being infantilized by a corporate/ media agenda from popular culture, schools, and adults. Yet, while being considered “too” young for almost anything, at the same time, these young consumers were being marketed to as seasoned adults. Almost 20 years later, the result is a consumer public of little girls, for example, who wear chastity rings and hip-clinging jogging pants with “Kiss My Booty” in glitter on the backside. With one voice, adults tell kids to stay clean, avoid sex and drugs, go to Disneyland, and make vows of celibacy … with another voice, the corporate side markets booty clothing, faux bling, and sexualized images of 12-year-olds. After three editions of Kinderculture: The Corporate Construc- tion of Childhood (Steinberg & Kincheloe, 2006, 2012), this chapter adds * This chapter first appeared in Communication and Social Change (2014, October 31). 2(1), 35–57. doi: 10.4471/csc.2014.07. Permission granted by Hipatia Press. 4 shirley r. steinberg to that notion by continuing to insist that new times have created a new childhood. However, paradoxically the current new times are conservative and...

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