Approaches to Teaching using Popular Culture and the Politics of Pleasure
This chapter discusses several complicated issues surrounding the selection, introduction, and discussion of popular culture framed by critical media literacy practices. It addresses issues regarding the perspective of audience, the politics of pleasure, and the role of the teacher in relation to both pleasure and audience. The chapter illustrates the various perspectives teachers have regarding popular culture's influence on students' lives. It also discusses the celebration of students' pleasures and differences in active construction of meaning by audiences and in individual pleasures of its members is essential to understanding the importance of popular culture in students' lives. From a behaviorist and traditional standpoint, audiences were thought to be passive spectators taking in various media forms without filtering, judging, or necessarily choosing them. It was assumed that children received all the images, especially televisual images, without any forethought; moreover, such images were believed to adversely affect children's understanding of the world.