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Textbooks and Beyond

Educational Media in Context(s) Simone Lässig

Simone Lässig

This article provides an introduction to the aims, methods, and interdisciplinary approach of this new journal, elucidating the traditions of international textbook research and the function of educational media as illuminating sources for various academic disciplines. Textbooks and curricula in particular, which are not only state-approved but also of a highly condensed and selective nature, are obliged to reduce the complexities of the past, present, and future onto a limited number of pages. Particularly in the humanities, which often deal with concepts of identity and portrayals that may be more open to interpretation, textbooks can become the subjects of controversial debate, especially in relation to societal shifts such as globalization and immigration. In this regard, this journal intends to illuminate the situations in which educational media evolve, including their social, cultural, political, and educational contexts. The emergence of new, particularly digital, educational media marks new modes of knowledge production. The Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society (JEMMS) invites analyses that reach beyond the printed page and even beyond the institution of the school itself.

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The Lost Thing

Moving Media Language from a Picture Book to a Short Film

Johanna Tydecks

The transformation of a picture book into a film is a special case of film adaptation because this process involves inherently intermedial qualities. In media literacy terms, when viewers look at a picture book that has been made into a film, they familiarize themselves with the story's imagery and plot, which makes it easier for them to comprehend the techniques employed by the film to create meaning. The Oscar-winning short film The Lost Thing is exemplary of this, as it narrates the same story as the original picture book, dealing with social as well as existential issues. This comparative analysis focuses on the two di erent narrations of this story with regard to the literacy skills required to comprehend them.

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Experiencing, Using, and Teaching History

Two History Teachers’ Relations to History and Educational Media

Robert Thorp

How do two Swedish secondary school teachers relate to and make sense of history via their experiences and educational media? This article seeks to gain knowledge about history education by analyzing two teachers’ narratives of their personal experiences of the Cold War and classroom observations of the teachers in practice. The article finds that the teachers’ narrations of personal experiences and observed teaching resemble the dominant historical culture of the Cold War in Swedish education. On this basis, the author discusses the importance of the critical awareness of historical culture in order to further a complex understanding of history.

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Mobile Electronic Media

Mobility History at the Intersection of Transport and Media History

Heike Weber

This article takes the history of mobile electronic media as a vantage point from which to view a transformation in everyday Western mobility culture. It argues that mobile media technologies rather than transport technologies constitute today's guiding symbols of mobility whilst mobility itself is seen as going beyond physical movement. In the late twentieth century, its understanding has been broadened and now refers to the mere capacity to be ready for action and, thus, movement. This shift from movement to the potential to move can be observed in the material culture of mobile media. Initially designed to accompany travel, tourism or sport activities, portable radios or cell phones have been increasingly used in stationary or domestic settings, thereby challenging the Western dualisms of mobile/sedentary and public/private. On a methodological level, a focus on mobile media history involves merging the fields of media and transport history with the aim of arriving at a comprehensive mobility history.

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Not Too Real

Young Men Find “The Real” in “Unreal” Media

Allison Butler

This article explores stories told by five young men, ages 17-19, about how they conceptualize “reality” through their electronic media choices. In studies on young people and the media, there is a rich and popular conservative tradition of seeing those deemed “deviant” as deeply and negatively influenced by the media. These individuals are assumed to have a fragile conscience that will permit them to be attracted to and act out socially unacceptable behaviors seen in the media. Deviance is understood in terms of social location, including race, gender, social class, and educational attainment. This essay challenges that tradition by asking how these boys understand and make meaning from their media choices. I draw directly from their stories told by youth of color from the inner-city South Bronx, New York. How do they articulate their viewing/listening positions and make meaning of “reality” when it is often people like them who are depicted as criminals and perpetuators of socially unacceptable behaviors in the media? Instead of seeking out or reacting against violent media, they choose and “make meaning” from media that help them conceptualize family, friendship, community, and career choice.

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Simulating Events as They Happen

Spectacle, Ideology, and Readymade Boogeymen—The 2011 August Riots and the Media

Christian Garland

The 2011 August riots that combusted with the police shooting of Mark Duggan in Tottenham, North London, (Laville, 2011; Vasagar, 2011) spread literally like wildfire to cities and towns across England in the space of a matter of hours. At the time, much was written about the supposedly ‘nihilistic’ and ‘opportunistic’ nature of the events, and how, unlike previous urban rebellions, they could not be considered to have any ‘political’ dimension, although there were some notable exceptions to such blanket dismissals, which were offered en bloc from even ‘radical’ quarters, not say media and academic ones. The article seeks to offer an analysis and critique of the media narrative of the events in English cities that August, with the aim of contributing to their demystification and better understanding, more than three years on. The article is written from a Marxist perspective, heavily drawing on Critical Theory and using content analysis and an ideological critique of the media to develop its argument. In the three years since the riots of 2011, the production of literature on those events has been fairly continuous, but largely oblivious to their significance, or just why they received such blanket and unequivocal condemnation. This article, in keeping with its origins as one of ‘the notable exceptions’ at the time makes an interrogative critique of the media’s part in ‘simulating events as they happen’.

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Carrie A. Rentschler

Young feminists use social media in order to respond to rape culture and to hold accountable the purveyors of its practices and ways of thinking when mainstream news media, police and school authorities do not. This article analyzes how social networks identified with young feminists take shape via social media responses to sexual violence, and how those networks are organized around the conceptual framework of rape culture. Drawing on the concept of response-ability, the article analyzes how recent social media responses to rape culture evidence the affective and technocultural nature of current feminist network building and the ways this online criticism re-imagines the position of feminist witnesses to rape culture.

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Educational Films

A Historical Review of Media Innovation in Schools

Eckhardt Fuchs, Anne Bruch and Michael Annegarn-Gläß

Instructional media serve multiple functions in a school setting. They can disseminate knowledge and skills while also informing and stimulating discussion. They not only convey information and support learning but also foster communication between teachers and pupils and between classmates and groups. However, despite the significant role of teaching media other than textbooks in the classroom, educational and media historians have largely ignored them. This is all the more remarkable because the current media revolution has made the media themselves particularly topical. “Contact with and access to media,” states Jelko Peters “presents a significant and fundamental problem of our time, which is closely linked with values such as freedom of communication and individual freedoms, pluralism, access to education as well as involvement in culture and participation in politics.”

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Redefining Representation

Black Trans and Queer Women's Digital Media Production

Moya Bailey

This article explores Black trans and queer women’s use of digital media platforms to create alternate representations of themselves through a process that addresses health and healing beyond the purview of the biomedical industrial complex. These activities include trans women of color using Twitter to build networks of support and masculine of center people creating their own digital health zine, two projects that value the propagation of crowd-sourced knowledge and the creation of images that subvert dominant representations of their communities. I argue that this process of redefining representation interrupts the normative standards of bodily representation and health presented in popular and medical culture. My research connects the messages within the seemingly objective realm of biomedicine to the social contexts in which they emerge and are shared. By highlighting two examples where I see these connections being made, I shift attention to the images deployed to redefine representations within these liminal communities.

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Les Ambivalences de la Rationalisation

À propos du rôle joué par les médias dans la présidentielle 2012

Eric Lagneau and Cyril Lemieux

By comparison with 2002 and 2007, does the 2012 presidential election reveal significant changes in French media functioning and their relations with the political sphere? To answer this question, this article challenges four statements heard during the campaign. They deal with the contribution of the media to François Hollande's victory, the way journalists reported on the campaign, the role played by the polls and finally, the candidates' strategies in media agenda setting. Even if the features traditionally ascribed to the French media (social proximity between journalists and politicians, importance of state regulation and public service, orientation toward the intellectual viewpoint in the patterns of media coverage) have not completely vanished, they describe reality less and less. Indeed, as shown in the article, both the media and the political sphere are today subjected to a converging process of rationalization that transforms their practices and mutual relations.