Teaching Youth Studies through Popular Culture

The book I wrote with the wonderful Sarah Baker hits shelves today. It’s called Teaching Youth Studies Through Popular Culture. It’s a scholarship of learning and teaching book, looking at how to make use of popular culture in the youth studies classroom. The concept can just as easily be applied to other classrooms, of course – sociology, media studies, politics, education, law, and so on. The book includes a mix of original research, a survey of existing literature, pedagogical reflection, and case studies. We’ve written it in the context of big changes in higher education, especially around sustained expansion, the inclusion of ‘non-traditional students’ (often the first in their families to study at uni), and shifting expectations about dynamic content and ‘authentic’ assessment.

You can currently read the first chapter, detailing our approach and where the content goes, on the book’s website.

[Extracts from the acknowledgments…]

We would like to thank our colleagues at Griffith University who have helped make the pedagogical approaches contained in this book come alive for students, particularly Robert Buttigieg who held the fort in Youth Culture and Subculture in 2013 and Adele Pavlidis for singing along. Thanks especially to Sue Lovell for sharing the journey that was Youth and Society, 2008–2011.

Thanks, too, to Ira McGuire for providing research assistance on Chapter 7, Christopher Bowman for his editorial assistance, and to Jason Lodge, Heather Alexander and Duncan Nulty from the previously named Griffith Institute of Higher Education for challenging us to think deeply and differently about aspects of our teaching that we had taken for granted. Thanks also to Keithia Wilson whose belief in us energised our creative approaches to addressing first-year engagement.

We dedicate this book to Bev Beasley and Pat Wise, excellent teachers who inspired us during our own undergraduate studies and who continue to be cherished mentors. We hope we have done them proud.