Media Literacies

1st Edition

Margaret Mackey

Published December 20, 2007
Reference - 2016 Pages
ISBN 9780415422673 - CAT# RT20332
Series: Major Themes in Education

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The past century has witnessed an ever-accelerating revolution in the ways by which we communicate with each other, and that revolution is far from complete. Understanding how our literacy skills and behaviours are evolving—how we make use of old technologies and adapt to new ones—and how critical development may be fostered is arguably one of the greatest challenges of the twenty-first century. It is vital to education, to civic participation, to political and commercial judgement, and to many other areas of contemporary life.

One of the principal barriers to gaining a comprehensive grasp of how people understand and use contemporary media lies in differential adoption of media technologies. This differential adoption, whether generational, financial, or geographic, has major implications for the development of literacies related to particular media. Official educational practices often lag far behind behaviours ‘on the ground’, and the ways in which learners develop new strategies for relating to media are as likely to be tacitly acquired through play as explicitly articulated in formal learning processes. It is essential, therefore, to pay careful attention to people’s implicit assumptions about media use as well as to look at what is more explicitly understood.

To help make sense of these complexities and the global explosion of interest and research in media and digital education, this four-volume collection, a new title in the Routledge Major Work series, Major Themes in Education, brings together the best research and theory on issues relating to literacies in both old- and new-media technologies.

The volumes in the collection gather both canonical and the finest cutting-edge scholarship on media literacies, exploring media technologies from a variety of perspectives. As well as focusing on the theoretical questions and the practical educational issues arising out of the constantly changing nature of the technological revolution, Media Literacies also examines the behaviours of media users themselves, from their first tacit understandings of how to make sense of a new kind of text to their later articulated and critical responses. This attention to users is reflected in the organization of the volumes. The editor, a leading scholar in the field, has organized the collection under the ‘verbs’ of media behaviour: viewing, listening, game-playing, using the Internet, interacting with other people, information-seeking, and reading and writing in new times. The set also comprises a general introductory section and a final section exploring some of the engines that have driven media change (such as aesthetic developments, corporate priorities, political pressures, and a few select ‘global accelerators’ of change: sports, religion, and the movement of people across national boundaries).

Media Literacies is an essential collection and is destined to be valued as a vital research resource by all scholars and students with an interest in the subject.

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