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Contemporary Youth and the Postmodern Adventure - page 12 / 16





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to form our own cultures and communities. And youth especially need street smarts and survival skills to cope with the drugs, violence, and uncertainty in today's predatory culture (McLaren 1995) and emerging era of Terror War (see Giroux 2003).

It is therefore extremely important for the future of democracy to make sure that youth of all classes, races, genders, and regions gain access to multimedia technology and critical pedagogies. They need training in media and computer literacy skills in order to provide the opportunities to enter the high-tech job market and society of the future, and to prevent an exacerbation of class, gender, and race inequalities. And while multiple literacy skills will be necessary, traditional print literacy skills are all the more important in a cyberage of word- processing, information gathering, and cybercommunication. Moreover, training in philosophy, ethics, value thinking, and the humanities is necessary now more then ever. Indeed, how emergent technologies will be used depends on the overall education of youth and the skills and interests they bring to the technologies which can be used to access educational and valuable cultural material, or pornography and the banal wares of cybershopping malls.

Of course, cyberlife is just one dimension of experience and individuals still need to learn to interact in a "real world" of school, jobs, relationships, politics, and other people. Youth – and all of us -- needs to learn to interact in many dimensions of social reality and to gain a variety of forms of literacy and skills that will enable us to create identities, relationships, and communities that will nurture and develop our full spectrum of potentialities and satisfy a wide array of needs. Our lives are more multidimensional than ever and part of the postmodern adventure is learning to live in a variety of social spaces and to adapt to intense change and transformation. Education too must meet these challenges and use multimedia and information technologies to promote empowering learning and devise strategies to create a more democratic and egalitarian multicultural society.


Best, Steven, and Kellner, Douglas (1991) Postmodern Theory: Critical Interrogations.

London and New York: MacMillan and Guilford Press. _____________ (1997) The Postmodern Turn. New York: Guilford Press. ______________ (2001) The Postmodern Adventure: Science, Technology,, and Cultural Studies at the Third Millennium. New York: Guilford. Bloom, Allan (1987) The Closing of the American Mind. New York: Simon and Schuster. Coupland, Douglas (1991) Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture. New York: St.

Martin's Press. Epstein, Jonathan S., editor (1998) Youth Culture. Identity in a Postmodern World.

Malden, Mass. and Oxford, UK: Blackwell. Giroux, Henry (1996) Border Crossing. New York: Routledge. ___________ (2000) Stealing Innocence. Youth, Corporate Power, and the Politics of Culture. New York: Saint Martin’s. __________ (2003a) “Neoliberalism’s War Against Youth: Where are Children in the Debate


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