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Street smarts and critical theory [electronic resource] : listening to the vernacular / Thomas McLaughlin.

By: McLaughlin, Thomas, 1948-.
Material type: TextTextSeries: Wisconsin project on American writers: Publisher: Madison : University of Wisconsin Press, c1996Description: 1 online resource (viii, 182 p.).ISBN: 058511448X (electronic bk.); 9780585114484 (electronic bk.); 9780299151737 (electronic bk.); 0299151735 (electronic bk.).Subject(s): American literature -- History and criticism -- Theory, etc | Popular literature -- History and criticism -- Theory, etc | Criticism -- United States -- History -- 20th century | Literature -- Public opinion | Criticism -- United States -- Public opinion | Language and culture -- United States | Popular culture -- United States | Canon (Literature) | LITERARY CRITICISM -- American -- General | Electronic books | Litt�erature am�ericaine -- Histoire et critique -- Th�eorie, etc | Paralitt�erature -- Histoire et critique -- Th�eorie, etc | Critique -- �Etats-Unis -- Histoire -- 20e si�ecle | Litt�erature -- Opinion publique -- �Etats-Unis | Critique -- Opinion publique -- �Etats-Unis | Langage et culture -- �Etats-Unis | Culture populaire -- �Etats-Unis | Chefs-d'�uvre (Litt�erature)Genre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Street smarts and critical theory.DDC classification: 810.9 Online resources: EBSCOhost | EBSCOhost
Contents:
Introduction - theory outside the academy: street smarts and critical theory -- Cultural theory and social activism in the southern Christian antipornography movement -- Criticism in the zines: vernacular theory and popular culture -- Stories of the new age: narrative, healing, and transformation -- The cunning of the hand, the weakness of the heart: theoretical work in the advertising profession -- The teachers meet the experts: vernacular theory in the whole language movement -- Pedagogy and vernacular theory.
Summary: Thomas McLaughlin argues that critical theory - raising serious, sustained questions about cultural practice and ideology - is practiced not only by an academic elite but also by savvy viewers of sitcoms and tv news, by Elvis fans and Trekkies, by labor organizers and school teachers, by the average person in the street.Summary: Like academic theorists, who are trained in a tradition of philosophical and political skepticism that challenges all orthodoxies, the vernacular theorists McLaughlin identifies display a lively and healthy alertness to contradiction and propaganda. They are not passive victims of ideology but active questioners of the belief systems that have power over their lives. Their theoretical work arises from the circumstances they confront on the job, in the family, in popular culture. And their questioning of established institutions, McLaughlin contends, is essential and healthy, for it clarifies the purpose and strategies of institutions and justifies the existence of cultural practices. Street Smarts and Critical Theory leads us through eye-opening explorations of social activism in the Southern Christian anti-pornography movement, fan critiques in the 'zine scene, New Age narratives of healing and transformation, the methodical manipulations of the advertising profession, and vernacular theory in the whole-language movement. Emphasizing that theory is itself a pervasive cultural practice, McLaughlin calls on academic institutions to recognize and develop the theoretical strategies that students bring into the classroom.
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Includes bibliographical references (p. 169-177) and index.

Thomas McLaughlin argues that critical theory - raising serious, sustained questions about cultural practice and ideology - is practiced not only by an academic elite but also by savvy viewers of sitcoms and tv news, by Elvis fans and Trekkies, by labor organizers and school teachers, by the average person in the street.

Like academic theorists, who are trained in a tradition of philosophical and political skepticism that challenges all orthodoxies, the vernacular theorists McLaughlin identifies display a lively and healthy alertness to contradiction and propaganda. They are not passive victims of ideology but active questioners of the belief systems that have power over their lives. Their theoretical work arises from the circumstances they confront on the job, in the family, in popular culture. And their questioning of established institutions, McLaughlin contends, is essential and healthy, for it clarifies the purpose and strategies of institutions and justifies the existence of cultural practices. Street Smarts and Critical Theory leads us through eye-opening explorations of social activism in the Southern Christian anti-pornography movement, fan critiques in the 'zine scene, New Age narratives of healing and transformation, the methodical manipulations of the advertising profession, and vernacular theory in the whole-language movement. Emphasizing that theory is itself a pervasive cultural practice, McLaughlin calls on academic institutions to recognize and develop the theoretical strategies that students bring into the classroom.

Introduction - theory outside the academy: street smarts and critical theory -- Cultural theory and social activism in the southern Christian antipornography movement -- Criticism in the zines: vernacular theory and popular culture -- Stories of the new age: narrative, healing, and transformation -- The cunning of the hand, the weakness of the heart: theoretical work in the advertising profession -- The teachers meet the experts: vernacular theory in the whole language movement -- Pedagogy and vernacular theory.

Description based on print version record.

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Other editions of this work

Street smarts and critical theory by McLaughlin, Thomas, ©1996
Street smarts and critical theory by McLaughlin, Thomas, ©1996
Street smarts and critical theory by McLaughlin, Thomas, ©1996
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