Waiting for Superman: A cultural studies analysis in the nightmare of the present
Huddleston, Gabriel; Helfenbein, Robert J.
While the history of cultural studies cites origins in adult education and contemporary scholars continue to note the need for cultural studies work in schools the connections between cultural studies and educational theorizing seem strained. This paper suggests the recent film Waiting for Superman offers an opportunity for a cultural studies analysis with clear import on education and curriculum theorizing. In specific, this paper notes the important conjuncture of forces at work in the public discourse of so-called education reform in the contemporary US context and suggests that cultural studies analysis may be needed now more than ever. This offering provides linkages between the discursive construction of educative reform efforts, the material lived experiences of those who spend time in educative contexts, and the concomitant ethics that such constructions require. As free-market fundamentalism, neoconservative ideological formations, and representations of school and schooling are all in play, this perspective--both in the material and academic sense--intends to help reinvigorate the conversation between cultural studies and curriculum theorizing and provides new understandings of this nightmare of the present.