Dissertation

This book is based on the research and writing done for my dissertation, Greening the Media Literacy Ecosystem: Situating Media Literacy for Green Cultural Citizenship. The book departs in many ways. In particular I simplify many of the concepts and the research discussion. The book is less technical and expands some areas that are not covered in the dissertation. However, some may want to read a more in-depth discussion of the data and research. If that is the case, you can download it from my Academia.edu web page. Here’s a summary:

Abstract

Media literacy is touted as a necessary life skill for cultural citizenship, yet as it is generally practiced there is little engagement with sustainability issues. In order to gain insights into why this is the case, this research investigated how media literacy practitioners use metaphors to frame both the role of media education in the world and how it affects green cultural citizenship. This involved analyzing web site documents and teacher resources of seven North American media literacy organizations as well as interviewing nine key practitioners within a bounded system called the media literacy ecosystem. Drawing on an ecocritical framework, I analyzed the discourses of the media literacy ecosystem by using multi-site situational analysis, qualitative media analysis and critical discourse analysis. This research explored how media literacy practitioners participate in meaning-making systems that reproduce pre-existing environmental ideologies. The findings show that media literacy education is grounded in a mechanistic worldview, thereby perpetuating unsustainable cultural practices in education. By problematizing the mechanistic discourses of media literacy education, the aim of this research was to raise awareness and to offer potential solutions for changing the nature of those same discourses. As such, I theorized a model of media literacy that incorporates green cultural citizenship, called ecomedia literacy, and outlined a path forward so that sustainability becomes a priority for media literacy educators.

Keywords: Media literacy, media studies, sustainability education, pedagogy, ecoliteracy