Shirley R. Steinberg

Shirley R. Steinberg

Infobox Scientist

image_width = 150px
name = Dr. Shirley R. Steinberg
birth_place = Baltimore, Maryland
nationality = American
field = Education, Media Studies, Cultural Studies, Popular Culture, Critical Pedagogy
work_institution = McGill University
alma_mater = Pennsylvania State University
influences = Antonio Gramsci, Paulo Freire, John Fiske, Aaron D. Gresson, Dorothy Heathcote
known_for = Theory of Critical MulticulturalismSteinberg, S. R. (Ed.). (2001). "Multi/Intercultural Conversations". New York: Peter Lang.] , Notion of Kinderculture ["Kinderculture: The Corporate Construction of Childhood, 2nd edition", Shirley Steinberg and Joe L. Kincheloe - New York: Peter Lang, 2004.] ] , and Notion of Christotainment ["Christotainment: Selling Jesus through Popular Culture", Shirley Steinberg and Joe L. Kincheloe - Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2009.] ]

Shirley Ruth Steinberg (born in Baltimore, Maryland) is a university educator who is based at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. She is known for her notions of Critical Multiculturalism, Kinderculture, Christotainment, and Postformal thinking, all developed with writing partner Joe L. Kincheloe. Since 1995, Steinberg's books have received international acclaim and awards from such organizations as the American Educational Studies Association, The Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights, and The Council of European Studies. She is the Academic Director at The Paulo and Nita Freire International Project for Critical Pedagogy at McGill University's Faculty of Education.

Critical Multiculturalism

Critical Multiculturalism is an idea that "draws upon the evolving theoretical position emerging in the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory in the 1920s" [Steinberg, S. R. and Kincheloe, J. L. (2001). Setting the context for Critical Multi/Interculturalism: The power blogs of class elitism, white supremacy, and patriarchy. In S. R. Steinberg (Ed.) "Multi/Intercultural Conversations: A Reader." New York: Peter Lang.] The framework for Critical Multiculturalism was laid out in Steinberg's 2001 book, "Multi/Intercultural Conversations: A Reader", but originally discussed in Kincheloe's and Steinberg's book, "Changing Multiculturalism" and further refined in her book, "Diversity: A Reader," (2009). In Dr. Stephen Bigger's 1998 review of "Changing Multiculturalism," he writes, "Multiculturalism, a problematic term, is clarified into a position called ‘critical multiculturalism’, described with approval inasfar as it explores “the way power shapes consciousness” (p.25) and has an “emancipatory commitment to social justice and the egalitarian democracy that accompanies it” (p.26) in contrast to “a moral emptiness to pedagogies that attempt to understand the world without concurrently attempting to change it”. Teachers need to have experienced transformation if they are to teach transformatively. The pedagogy comes out of the “concern with the intersection of power, identity and knowledge” (p.29). [See]

Media Literacy

Steinberg's recent book is edited with Donaldo Macedo: "Media Literacy: A Reader" (New York: Peter Lang, 2007). The book provides “a critical understanding of media culture designed to develop the ability to interpret media as well as understand how it emotionally affects individuals.” The Reader is constructed on the notion that while many strongly believe that humans exercise agency, we understand that there are social, cultural, and political forces that affect agency. According to Steinberg, one's conception of media literacy analyzes the ways everyday decisions are encoded and inscribed by emotional and bodily commitments relating to the production of desire and mood.


Steinberg is also known for her notion of “kinderculture”, first introduced with Joe L. Kincheloe in "Kinderculture: The Corporate Construction of Childhood" (Boulder, Co: Westview Press, 1997). The book included her chapter, "The Bitch Who has Everything," an examination into the cultural studies of Barbie. The book was published in a second edition in 2004. Steinberg (and Kincheloe) outline the premise of the concept, "Using pleasure as its ultimate weapon, the corporate children's consumer culture, which we label 'kinderculture,' commodifies cultural objects and turns them into things to purchase rather than objects to contemplate" (11). In a 1998 review of the text, Raymond Horn writes, "Kinderculture is a journey beneath the surface consciousness of Disney movies, Bart Simpson, trading cards (everything from baseball players to mass murderers), Mortal Kombat, Goosebumps, Highlights for Children, professional wrestling, American Girl, Days of Our Lives, McDonald's, and, of course, Barbie. Some chapters provide detailed information about the historical development of certain products. Another chapter critically examines educational programming, including Sesame Street and Barney. This journey is a reasoned exploration of what messages children receive when they indiscriminately sample the offerings of corporations, which are certainly driven by vested interests." [See]


Steinberg's upcoming book, "Christotainment: Selling Jesus through Popular Culture", co-edited with Joe L. Kincheloe (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2009), explores her idea of Christotainment by examining the ways in which principles, beliefs, and religious practices supported or constructed by Christian fundamentalist groups are promoted or bought and sold through the use of popular or mainstream media productions.


Steinberg is also known for co-constructing the theory of "Post-Formalism" with Joe L. Kincheloe. "This volume argues that while twentieth century educational psychology has made important advances, a time for reassessment has arrived. Recent years have seen the rise of neo-Vygotskian analysis and situated cognition within the discipline of cognitive psychology. Steinberg and Kincheloe pick up where these theories leave off to more fully develop the specific connections between the social and the psychological dimensions of learning theory and Educational Psychology." [See] Steinberg and Kincheloe write, "Postformal thinking concerns questions of meaning and purpose, multiple perspectives, human dignity, freedom, and social responsibility. Curriculum and instruction based on postformalism involves detecting problems, uncovering hidden assumptions, seeing relationships, deconstructing, connecting logic and emotion, and attending to context." [See]

Primary Works

Steinberg is the author and editor of many books, notably:
*"Cutting Class: Socioeconomic Class and Education" – Boulder, CO: Rowman and Littlefield, 2007 (Co-edited with Joe L. Kincheloe)
*"Media Literacy: A Reader" – New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2007 (Co-edited with Donaldo Macedo)
*"Teen Life in Europe" – Greenwich, CT: Praeger Press, 2005
*"Encyclopedia of Contemporary Youth Culture" – Greenwich, CT: Greenwood Press, 2005 (Co-edited with Priya Parmar and Birgit Richard)
*"Things You Don’t Know About Schools" – New York: Palgrave Press, 2005 (Co-edited with Joe L. Kincheloe)
*"19 Urban Questions: Teaching in the City" – New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2004 (Co-edited with Joe L. Kincheloe)
*"Kinderculture: The Corporate Construction of Childhood, 2nd Ed." – Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2004 (Co-edited with Joe L. Kincheloe)
*"The Miseducation of the West: How Schools and the Media Distort Our Understanding of the Islamic World" - Westport, CT: Praeger Press, 2004 (Co-edited with Joe L. Kincheloe)
*"Multi/Intercultural Conversations: A Reader" – New York: New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2001
*"Thinking Queer: Sexuality, Culture and Education" - New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2000 (Co-edited with Susan Talburt) *NOTE: Translated into Spanish
*"The Stigma of Genius: Einstein, Education, and Consciousness" - New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2000 (Co-edited with Joe L. Kincheloe)
*"Contextualizing Teaching" - New York: Longman Publishing, 1999 (Co-edited with Joe L. Kincheloe).
*"The Post-Formal Reader" - New York: Garland Press, 1999 (Co-edited with [Joe L. Kincheloe and Patricia Hinchey)
*"White Reign: Deploying Whiteness in America" - New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998 (Co-edited with Joe L. Kincheloe, Nelson Rodriguez, Ronald Chennault)
*"Students as Researchers: Creating Classrooms that Matter" - London: Falmer Press, 1998 (Co-edited with Joe L. Kincheloe) *NOTE: Translated into Chinese 2001
*"Unauthorized Methods: Strategies for Critical Teaching" - New York: Routledge, 1998 (Co-edited with Joe L. Kincheloe)
*"Changing Multiculturalism: New Times, New Curriculum" - London: Open University Press, 1997 (Co-edited with Joe L. Kincheloe) *NOTE: Translated into Spanish
*"Kinderculture: The Corporate Construction of Childhood" - Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1997 (Co-edited with Joe L. Kincheloe) *NOTE: Translated into Portuguese and Spanish
*"Measured Lies: The Bell Curve Examined" - New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1996 (Co-edited with Joe L. Kincheloe and Aaron D. Gresson III)
*"Thirteen Questions: Reframing Education’s Conversation: 2nd Edition" - New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 1996 (Co-edited with Joe L. Kincheloe)


External links

* [ Shirley R. Steinberg’s People Page at McGill University]
* [ Shirley R. Steinberg’s personal blog]
* [ The Paulo and Nita Freire International Project for Critical Pedagogy]

ee also

* Adult education
* Adult literacy
* Conscientization
* Critical consciousness
* Critical psychology
* Critical thinking
* Cultural Studies
* Curriculum and instruction
* Curriculum studies
* Ecopedagogy
* Education policy
* Education theory
* Education studies
* Educational psychology
* Educational philosophy
* Educational research
* Inclusive classroom
* Multicultural Education
* Popular education
* Praxis
* Praxis intervention
* Queer Pedagogy
* Second Coming
* Social criticism
* Student voice
* Teaching for social justice
* War on Terrorism
* Women's Rights

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