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Media Literacy and the Emerging Citizen

Youth, Engagement and Participation in Digital Culture

Paul Mihailidis

Media Literacy and the Emerging Citizen is about enhancing engagement in a digital media culture and the models that educators, parents and policy makers can utilize to place media-savvy youth into positions of purpose, responsibility and power. Two specific challenges are at the core of this book’s argument that media literacy is the path toward more active and robust civic engagement in the 21st century:
How can media literacy enable core competencies for value-driven, diverse and robust digital media use?
How can media literacy enable a more civic-minded participatory culture?
These challenges are great, but they need to be examined in their entirety if media literacy is to begin to address the opportunities they present for democracy, participation and discourse in a digital media age. By presenting information that places media literacy at the center of what it means to be an engaged citizen, educators and policy makers will understand why media literacy must be integrated into formal and informal education systems before it’s too late
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This book would not have been possible without the help, support and guidance from a host of great friends, colleagues, mentors and students.

I’d first like to thank my colleagues at the universities that participated in the research for this book. Belinha De Abreu, Vanessa Domine, Chuck Fidler, Katherine Fry, Sherri Hope Culver, Susan Moeller, Moses Shumow, and Bu Zhong were all overly generous in both disseminating the surveys and allowing me to intrude on their classrooms to facilitate small group discussions.

I’m indebted to my colleagues and friends who read versions of this book along the way, from the initial chapters to the final product. Their eyes, ears, and constructive criticisms helped form the core arguments that I try to advance. In no particular order, I’m indebted to David Cooper Moore, Belinha De Abreu, Meg Fromm, and Eric Gordon for reading versions of this work and providing critical feedback. The theoretical developments early in this work, particularly in Chapter two, stem from some of discussions with Benjamin Thevenin, who I’m grateful to for being able to engage with in more substantial ways around critical media literacy and citizenship. I’ve sat many nights with Jad Melki, Moses Shumow, Roman Gerodimos, and Meg Fromm, talking about the ideas in this book, amongst many other things, that have all found a way to influence the work that follows. Many others contributed ← ix | x → to the shaping of this book in formal and informal ways, too many...

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