Teaching pleasure: experiments in cultural studies and pedagogy

Parham, John (2002) Teaching pleasure: experiments in cultural studies and pedagogy. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 5 (4). pp. 461-478. ISSN 1367-8779

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This article evaluates pedagogical debates on reconciling critical cultural studies with the increasingly vocational demands of students. The approach is experiential and describes teaching `popular pleasure' at the University of East London, UK. Highlighting a reflexive approach whereby students questioned the partialities of cultural studies in light of their own experience and pleasures, the article draws on student assignments to reach two findings: a failure of reflexivity (coursework was conventionally theoretical or uncritically autobiographical); and sharp discrepancies in student satisfaction. Concluding, then, that the vocational—critical split permeates student culture itself, the essay considers how to reconcile these two constituencies — identifying opportunities in both contemporary higher education and cultural theory (for example, proposing students as cultural intermediaries) — before diagnosing remaining obstacles (from cultural studies' failure to discuss popular culture `authentically' to difficulties in drafting assessment criteria for reflexive assignments). It concludes with some recommendations for future courses.

Item Type: Article
Identifier: 10.1177/13678779020050040601
Subjects: Social sciences > Communication and culture
Depositing User: Rod Pow
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2012 15:23
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 15:39
URI: https://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/282

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