Critical Media Literacies in the Twenty-First Century: Writing Autoethnographies, Making Connections, and Creating Virtual Identities
Critical media literacies can help nurture students’ creative agencies and engender positive, sustained change in local communities. Kellner and Share (2005) have noted that students do need to develop faculties with digital technologies but that they must also participate in critical readings of cultural artifacts and discriminate between various multimedia sources. It is important for youth to conceptualize language as perpetuating different kinds of ideologies, for viewpoints are “connected to negotiable, changeable, and sometimes contested stories, histories, knowledge, beliefs, and values encapsulated into cultural models (theories) about the world” (Gee, 2008, p. 29). Semiotic meanings are in constant flux due to individual interests, community dynamics, and sociohistorical contexts, and students need to develop critical stances to better distinguish between authentic narratives, purported truths, and the in-between gray areas of discursive communications.
The proliferation of digital and mobile applications expand academic and political boundaries, for within a critical media literacies framework, reading is a collective transaction, learning is a generative act, and political engagement is an accessible and possible achievement. This paper thereby provides an overview of several significant studies that have interrogated the possibilities of critical media pedagogies in youth spaces. The following sections chart ways in which students can engage with critical media literacies — namely by 1) affording the production of meaningful and authentic autoethnographies, 2) facilitating hospitable connections with near and distant others, and 3) encouraging imaginative self-constructions of identities within virtual communities.
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Song, A. (2017). Critical Media Literacies in the Twenty-First Century: Writing Autoethnographies, Making Connections, and Creating Virtual Identities. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 9(1), 64-78. https://doi.org/10.23860/JMLE-2017-9-1-5
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