Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The influence and power of visual media on adolescents and the need for school-based media literacy instruction
by Noro, Paul Steven, Ed.D., University of Pittsburgh, 2009, 227; 3400491
Abstract (Summary)

The significance of media literacy pedagogy in American public schools is crucial in helping teenagers comprehend the visual media world in which they live. The world is currently a place where our youth are inundated with visual messages that must be received, interpreted and critically analyzed. The dilemma is not so much in the reception of the visual media because media is so prevalent in our American society; rather the dilemma lies within the interpretation and critical analysis of said messages. The context, purpose and meaning(s) of visual media has within its realm a social, capitalist and consumerism component that is both expansive and influential. The site for this study was a high school in a suburban school district located in the northeastern section of the United States.

This dissertation consists of three theoretical essays. I first explored how power, agency and lack of critical media education each play a significant role in the exploitation of today’s youth. I then reviewed current research to draw on a variety of perspectives and constructs in relation to more specific areas of media literacy, such as, effects of visual media on sexuality, alcohol and drug abuse, on body image, on violence and how adolescents form meaning of media and images. I then explored the ways in which teenagers make sense of visual media and how they view their own metacognition in relation to their exchanges with visual artifacts that confronts them on a daily basis. I also observed the ways in which teenagers view and interpret visual images and how these images influence their belief systems, is crucial in helping teenagers comprehend the visual media world in which they live. The world is currently a place where our youth are inundated with visual messages that must be received, interpreted and critically analyzed. The dilemma is not so much in the reception of the visual media because media is so prevalent in our American society; rather the dilemma lies within the interpretation and critical analysis of said messages. The context, purpose and meaning(s) of visual media has within its realm a social, capitalist and consumerism component that is both expansive and influential. The site for this study was a high school in a suburban school district located in the northeastern section of the United States.

Exploring these areas and questions helped me to appreciate the complexities of how the media is utilized by corporate America in regard to advertising; the interplay of visual imagery and how, subconsciously, the wants and desires of teenagers are exposed; and the need for public educational institutions to provide a more relevant curricula and policy that reflects our postmodern culture.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Trovato, Charlene
Commitee:
School: University of Pittsburgh
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 71/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Secondary education, Social studies education, Mass communications
Keywords: Adolescents, Critical theory, Cultural studies, Media literacy, Visual media
Publication Number: 3400491
ISBN: 9781109672411
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