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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Freire, Alienation, and Contemporary Youth: Toward a Pedagogy of Everyday Life

  • Author(s): Frymer, Benjamin
  • et al.

This paper asserts that Freire’s pedagogy has ongoing relevance for the study of contemporary youth alienation, given the centrality of estrangement in Freire’s philosophy and praxis. I argue that a critical pedagogy and sociology of youth alienation must: 1) interrogate the cultural logic of everyday life, 2) confront the spread of existential nihilism and loss of meaning amidst commodification and spectacle in capitalist society, and 3) investigate the subordination of education as a political and social project, as well as ethical end, amidst an intensification of instrumental reason. A renewed emancipatory project for critical pedagogy, based on a return to alienation as a core problematic, would confront widespread youth alienation and the general crisis of youth in late capitalism.

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