The Crisis of Meaning was first published in 1995. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Pick up any newspaper and it is clear that the United States is facing a democratic crisis. Recent culture wars and debates about political correctness and culture have illustrated how conventional definitions of citizenship and national identity have been thrown into question.
Investigating what he views as an inseparable link between culture and politics, David Trend analyzes how notions of patriotism, citizenship, community, and family are communicated within specific public and private institutions. He extends the meaning and purpose of pedagogy as a cultural practice outside the classroom, focusing on political activism in education, the mass media, and the art world.
The Crisis of Meaning supplies a crucial theoretical understanding of the ways in which the pedagogical and political intersect at a variety of cultural sites, as it points us toward a "democratic" process of national identity formation. It is indispensable reading for anyone interested in the connections between education and politics.
David Trend is executive director of the Center for Social Research and Education in San Francisco and also executive editor of the Socialist Review. He is the author of Cultural Pedagogy: Art/Education/Politics (1992).