Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Film as a Mirror of Evolving Consciousness: The Politics of Representation, the Power of Social Media, and Shifting Landscapes
by Mack, Adrian, Ph.D., California Institute of Integral Studies, 2017, 178; 10615336
Abstract (Summary)

Social paradigms establish narratives that dictate society. Film, as a form of public pedagogy, mirrors social narratives on screen and instructs society how to view others and think about the world. Diverse individuals and groups view the world differently based on their environment and development. When individuals view film content, their unique perceptions support their understandings of the film content. Without dialogue and reflection, particularly with people with different worldviews and backgrounds, inaccurate, incomplete, and harmful information that is exhibited on screen may continue to influence one’s view of society. One way for dialogue to occur is through social media, which can expose individuals from diverse backgrounds to each other. This transdisciplinary inquiry theorized, “How might conversations on social media impact the social consciousness among viewers of dystopian films?” The literature review underscored why film and dystopian literature are significant and how social media’s prevalence as channels for communication can spark intellectual debate, which links to public pedagogy, with the aim of developing social consciousness. The research was composed as a dystopian fiction novel, using fiction-based research, because fiction, like film, disseminates social narratives. Dystopian literature and film’s plots typically center on social critiques, and are socially conscious in nature. Critics often debate these types of works because of opposing ideologies. Other topics of debate include identity politics surrounding the subtext of fiction and film, casting in film, and governing social dynamics that influence the film industry, such as White supremacy. Unlike with film that has visual representations on screen, readers often have to use mental imagery to interpret and understand fiction writing. When in dialogue with others, individuals can reflect on their projections and interpretations. The fiction incorporated the concepts of the literature review and Urie Bronfenbrenner’s (1978/2005) bioecological systems theory of human development. This theoretical framework as the foundation of the fiction-oriented research demonstrated how environments, such as social media, influence one’s view of the world.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Montuori, Alfonso
Commitee: Booth, Paul, McAuley, Charles
School: California Institute of Integral Studies
Department: Transformative Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 79/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social research, Communication, Multimedia Communications, Film studies
Keywords: Arts-based research methods, Bioecological systems theory of human development, Dystopia, Media studies, Social consciousness, Social constructions
Publication Number: 10615336
ISBN: 978-0-355-16496-1
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