This text involves students in understanding and using the tools of critical social and literary theory from the first day of class. It is an ideal first introduction before students encounter more difficult readings from critical and postmodern perspectives. Nealon and Giroux describe key concepts and illuminate each with an engaging inquiry that asks students to consider deeper and deeper questions. Written in students' own idiom, and drawing its examples from the social world, literature, popular culture, and advertising, The Theory Toolbox offers students the language and opportunity to theorize. Updated throughout, the second edition of The Theory Toolbox includes a discussion of new media, as well as two new chapters on life and nature.