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Henry Giroux argues that the US is at war with young people. No longer seen as the future of a democratic society, youth are now derided by politicians looking for quick-fix solutions to crime and demonized by the popular media. This perception of fear and disdain is being translated into social policy. Instead of providing a decent education to young people, we offer them Henry Giroux argues that the US is at war with young people. No longer seen as the future of a democratic society, youth are now derided by politicians looking for quick-fix solutions to crime and demonized by the popular media. This perception of fear and disdain is being translated into social policy. Instead of providing a decent education to young people, we offer them the increasing potential of being incarcerated. Instead of guaranteeing them decent health care, we serve them more standardized tests. There's a war on in the US these days, and Giroux sees our youth as the target.


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Henry Giroux argues that the US is at war with young people. No longer seen as the future of a democratic society, youth are now derided by politicians looking for quick-fix solutions to crime and demonized by the popular media. This perception of fear and disdain is being translated into social policy. Instead of providing a decent education to young people, we offer them Henry Giroux argues that the US is at war with young people. No longer seen as the future of a democratic society, youth are now derided by politicians looking for quick-fix solutions to crime and demonized by the popular media. This perception of fear and disdain is being translated into social policy. Instead of providing a decent education to young people, we offer them the increasing potential of being incarcerated. Instead of guaranteeing them decent health care, we serve them more standardized tests. There's a war on in the US these days, and Giroux sees our youth as the target.

44 review for The Abandoned Generation: Democracy Beyond the Culture of Fear

  1. 4 out of 5

    Adam Fletcher

    (This review is published elsewhere online.) The most important contribution to our collective work for social change by and with young people in recent years is not being talked about. Perhaps because it is the most dangerous. Truth is told, lies exposed, agendas revealed, and purpose questioned. The Abandoned Generation: Democracy Beyond the Culture of Fear was written by cultural theorist Henry Giroux. Giroux has been a scholar for 25 years, publishing more than 30 books and 250 scholarly art (This review is published elsewhere online.) The most important contribution to our collective work for social change by and with young people in recent years is not being talked about. Perhaps because it is the most dangerous. Truth is told, lies exposed, agendas revealed, and purpose questioned. The Abandoned Generation: Democracy Beyond the Culture of Fear was written by cultural theorist Henry Giroux. Giroux has been a scholar for 25 years, publishing more than 30 books and 250 scholarly articles. Some people refer to his work as socialist, dissident, and revolutionary; all very stand-offish terms for a man dedicated to revealing the various agendas against young people, democracy and social justice today. And reveal plots he does. In this latest book Giroux carefully outlines several competing agendas for America's children and youth, including that of the : * "Compassionate conservatives" of the Bush Administration destroying the federal funding base for several social programs designed to support low-income children and youth across the nation; * Corporations fighting for a chance to run America's schools, determined to indoctrinate the values of patriotic consumerism in school students by taking the "public" out of public schools, and; * Mass media's continued assault on mass culture's perceptions of youth by consistently portraying young people as apathetic, trashed out waste who are only motivated by punishment and rewards. * Giroux speaks directly to young activists today, recognizing the power behind a lot of different groups, and offering a challenge for young people to connect with larger movements for social justice, like fighting for a radical, inclusive democracy instead of simply an end to sweatshop labor. He also addresses educators, continuously calling for social justice, empowerment, and action in classrooms. Giroux shows how standardized tests serve multiple gods, enforcing racism, consumption, and class segregation in the name of "high performance." There is a constant thread throughout the book calling for educators to teach critical thinking, active democracy, and community action for social change. At a time when a lot of people see "Hope" as a dirty word, Giroux calls it front and center. He challenges the reader to examine the power of Hope for themselves, and calls for us to remove Hope from a silly, idyllic notion of "someday faraway" to a present, guiding, active notion that can guide and engage people, young and old, everyday. In my continued effort to explore the depth, purpose, and effects of youth-led community action, I have not found another book that is so determined to tell the truth; the challenge now is to get people to read it. I thoroughly recommend 'The Abandoned Generation' to anyone dedicated to promoting social change by and with young people around the world, and eagerly await for the action that will follow.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    In The Abandoned Generation: Democracy beyond the Culture of Fear (2003), Henry A. Giroux argues “that the United States is at war with young people” who “have become the all important group onto which class and racial anxieties are projected” (xvi). Giroux writes that, “Instead of providing them with vibrant public spheres, we offer them a commercialized culture in which consumerism is the only obligation of citizenship” (xviii). Giroux believes that educational public spheres are the places whe In The Abandoned Generation: Democracy beyond the Culture of Fear (2003), Henry A. Giroux argues “that the United States is at war with young people” who “have become the all important group onto which class and racial anxieties are projected” (xvi). Giroux writes that, “Instead of providing them with vibrant public spheres, we offer them a commercialized culture in which consumerism is the only obligation of citizenship” (xviii). Giroux believes that educational public spheres are the places where students can inspect the past and open up new possibilities for the future (9): “Educators need to provide spaces of resistance within the public schools and the university that take seriously what it means to educate students to question authority, recall what is forgotten or ignored, and make connections that are otherwise hidden” (40-41). Educators must teach critical literacy, which is not just about training to be critical consumers, but also “offering them [students:] the knowledge, skills, and tools to recognize when the new technologies and media serve as either a force for enlarging democracy or when they shut it down” (39). Since the 1980s, but especially after September 11, 2001, neoliberalism and a culture of fear have controlled our politics, causing a crisis of democracy. Youth have been the target of this fear, through advertising, movies, media portrayal of violence, and political rhetoric; “youth prompts in the public imagination a rhetoric of fear, control, and surveillance” (xvii). Neoliberalism is dangerous because of a) its central tenet that market relations define social and public life (32), b) “commercialization, privatization, and the creation of a worldwide economy of part-time workers” (35), c) the elimination of public spaces, and difficulty of relating private problems within public concerns (35), and d) the depoliticization of life through the creation of cynicism (119).

  3. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    Well, I wanted to like this book. Parts of it were really interesting. Parts of it introduced me to some new comcepts I found useful or enlightening. I agree with his ideas, but I wish he had laid them out more clearly. As it was, the book felt unfocused, meandering, and redundant. Two whole chapters were spent using movie plots to demonstrate issues with youth culture. Giroux referred repeatedly to "educators" and what they needed to do, but didn't make it entirely clear if he was talking about Well, I wanted to like this book. Parts of it were really interesting. Parts of it introduced me to some new comcepts I found useful or enlightening. I agree with his ideas, but I wish he had laid them out more clearly. As it was, the book felt unfocused, meandering, and redundant. Two whole chapters were spent using movie plots to demonstrate issues with youth culture. Giroux referred repeatedly to "educators" and what they needed to do, but didn't make it entirely clear if he was talking about teachers, administrators, or policymakers. He also offered no practical hypothesis about how these educators, whoever they are, could work against an administrative structure that, as he himself explains (though not well enough), prevents them from doing the work he believes they need to do. And on top of all that, the grammar was atrocious. His writing style is needlessly complicated and jargon-y, and I say this as someone who has been reading academic tomes all year. Worse than that, there are repeated blatant mistakes -- like dangling modifiers and missing verbs and clauses that just don't go anywhere -- and poorly constructed lists. For a book that was hard to read to begin with, this was really detrimental. As a whole, it felt like the book was just rushed through production -- the writing and editing stages alike. This makes sense, as its a book that spends a lot of time critiquing the Bush administration (too much time for all of its points to remain relevant, I think), and would have needed to be published while Bush was still in office in order to capture the largest audience. Are Giroux's other books any better? I know he's a big name in this field of study, but I was sorely disappointed by this book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    a very thoughtful and pointed set of essays. while well supported arguments Giroux is clearly angry at someone...a lot to say but little in the way of solutions for his stated observed problems. is it possible the 'corporatization' of everything is just what is to happen until we become an idiocracy? porbably not it may be an upswing in this misery we exist in... Giroux has made me feel very depressed. a very thoughtful and pointed set of essays. while well supported arguments Giroux is clearly angry at someone...a lot to say but little in the way of solutions for his stated observed problems. is it possible the 'corporatization' of everything is just what is to happen until we become an idiocracy? porbably not it may be an upswing in this misery we exist in... Giroux has made me feel very depressed.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Peggy

    this is a tough read, required for a class i took, interesting

  6. 5 out of 5

    Allison Durham

    So far it's point on... we'll see what I think after I get through Chapter 1. :-) So far it's point on... we'll see what I think after I get through Chapter 1. :-)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Grace

  8. 4 out of 5

    Keith

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Widzinski

  10. 4 out of 5

    Wayne

  11. 5 out of 5

    Carol Tilley

  12. 5 out of 5

    Pinkie

  13. 5 out of 5

    CommonAction Consulting

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jon

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jameson Goetz

  16. 5 out of 5

    Erica

  17. 5 out of 5

    Maya

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ashraf Mourad

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jon Drucker

  20. 4 out of 5

    Edward Davis

  21. 5 out of 5

    Linda Abrams

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jon Schoning

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  24. 4 out of 5

    "Stars"

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anita

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chris Trevett

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jason

  28. 5 out of 5

    Paul Parkison

  29. 4 out of 5

    Greg Martinez

  30. 4 out of 5

    Josh

  31. 5 out of 5

    kates

  32. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

  33. 5 out of 5

    Minkman

  34. 5 out of 5

    Unlikely Stories

  35. 4 out of 5

    Sketchycat8

  36. 4 out of 5

    Nick

  37. 4 out of 5

    Annabelle

  38. 5 out of 5

    Katie E Linder

  39. 5 out of 5

    Pakitoinuriak

  40. 4 out of 5

    Erin

  41. 5 out of 5

    Ulrichkelly ulrich

  42. 5 out of 5

    Geoplanarian

  43. 5 out of 5

    DoctorM

  44. 4 out of 5

    Kaiser

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