For more than two thousand years Christian expansion and proselytizing was couched in terms of "defending the faith." Until recently in the United States, much of that defense came in the form of reactions against the "liberal" influences channeled through big-corporate media such as popular music, Hollywood movies, and network and cable television. But the election of Ronald Reagan as a Hollywood President introduced Christian America to the tools of advertising and multimedia appeals to children and youth to win new believers to God's armies. Christotainment examines how Christian fundamentalism has realigned its armies to combat threats against it by employing the forces it once considered its chief enemies: the entertainment media, including movies, television, music, cartoons, theme parks, video games, and books. Invited contributors discuss the critical theoretical frameworks of top-selling devices within Christian pop culture and the appeal to masses of American souls through the blessed marriage of corporatism and the quest for pleasure.
Maintaining that urban teaching and learning is characterized by numerous contradictions, this book proposes that there is a wide range of social, cultural, psychological, and pedagogical knowledge that urban educators must possess in order to engage in effective and transformative practice. It is necessary for teachers in urban schools to be scholar-practitioners, as opposed to bureaucrats who only follow rather than analyze, understand, and create. Ten major sections cover the myriad issues of urban education as it exists today: context of urban education, race and ethnicity, social justice, teaching and pedagogy, power and urban education, language issues, cultural issues of urban schools as seen in the media, research in city schools, aesthetics and the proximity of cultural institutions, and education policy. Sixty one essays written by specialists in teacher education; public policy; sociology; psychology; applied linguistics; forestry; urban studies; school administration; cultural studies; evaluation; and linguistics, provide a blueprint for scholars, teachers, parents, urban politicians, school administrators, policy professionals, and others seeking to understand the situation of urban schools across America today.