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How media literacy is defined: A review
Unformatted Document Text:  4 that everything inside their mind (knowledge, goals, motives) may influence how they look at media messages. The seventh element ‘action strategies’ refers to the action designed by the individual as a result of the received information and the subsequent definition of a situation. In regard to media literacy, this element refers to three issues. First, it suggests that people know what kinds of situations inspire them to use the media. Second, this element refers to an awareness of how the media inspire people take certain actions. Finally, this element also refers to the ability to access and select multiple sources of information. The eighth element, ‘objectification’, refers to the creation of habitual behavior patterns, which can include media use. This element suggests that media literate people should be aware of their routine use of the media; i.e., their patterns of media use. It also suggests that media literacy includes knowing how routine patterns of media use came about. The ninth and final element, ‘socialization’, refers to the process through which an individual becomes a member of a society, and internalizes its norms, values and accepted patterns of behavior. Regarding media literacy, this element suggests that media users should be able to see how the media socialize people into society by teaching them the dominant norms and values. In the model the element ‘interpretation’ is linked to both ‘information’ and ‘social network’. The relationship between ‘information’ and ‘interpretation’ runs both ways. On the one hand, it refers to the influence that the content of a media message might have on the way in which the process of interpretation occurs. On the other hand, it refers to the process through which people construct their own version of the information presented to them through this process of interpretation. The relationship between ‘social network’ and ‘interpretation’ refers, on the one hand, to the extent to which one’s interpretation is influenced by one’s culture. On the other hand this relationship also points to the notion that one’s interpretation of a mediated message can influence the dominant norms and values, and culture in general. An example of this would be when the broadcasting of, what at first seems a provocative program, gradually renders what used to be considered transgressive behavior more accepted. Literature overview: Aspects of media literacy In this section of the paper, the different conceptualizations of media literacy used in the field of media literacy research are organized by relating them to the elements of the constructivist model of media literacy outlined above. Media institutions In terms of media literacy, this element refers to knowledge about the economic, legal and political contexts in which media messages are produced. The definitions of media literacy which refer to ‘institutions’, can be grouped into the following categories: 1) definitions which match the definitions of media literacy as mentioned in the model, 2) knowledge of the economic aspects of the media, 3) knowledge of the political and/or historical dimensions of media institutions, 4) definitions which refer to very general knowledge only, and 5) knowledge of the practical consequences of the profit oriented nature of the media. Brown (2001), when describing media literacy, provided a description of media literacy that, of all the descriptions provided below, most closely matches the conceptualization supplied by the constructivist model of media literacy; ”Critical viewing is one major component of media literacy, referring to the study of media industries and of economic, political and ethical contexts to learn about forces shaping media content, including advertising economics and government regulation and public interest groups”(684). This description, albeit at times a bit briefer, was echoed by numerous other researchers

Authors: Rosenbaum, Judith.
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that everything inside their mind (knowledge, goals, motives) may influence how they look at
media messages.
The seventh element ‘action strategies’ refers to the action designed by the individual
as a result of the received information and the subsequent definition of a situation. In regard to
media literacy, this element refers to three issues. First, it suggests that people know what
kinds of situations inspire them to use the media. Second, this element refers to an awareness
of how the media inspire people take certain actions. Finally, this element also refers to the
ability to access and select multiple sources of information.
The eighth element, ‘objectification’, refers to the creation of habitual behavior
patterns, which can include media use. This element suggests that media literate people
should be aware of their routine use of the media; i.e., their patterns of media use. It also
suggests that media literacy includes knowing how routine patterns of media use came about.
The ninth and final element, ‘socialization’, refers to the process through which an
individual becomes a member of a society, and internalizes its norms, values and accepted
patterns of behavior. Regarding media literacy, this element suggests that media users should
be able to see how the media socialize people into society by teaching them the dominant
norms and values.
In the model the element ‘interpretation’ is linked to both ‘information’ and ‘social
network’. The relationship between ‘information’ and ‘interpretation’ runs both ways. On the
one hand, it refers to the influence that the content of a media message might have on the way
in which the process of interpretation occurs. On the other hand, it refers to the process
through which people construct their own version of the information presented to them
through this process of interpretation.
The relationship between ‘social network’ and ‘interpretation’ refers, on the one hand,
to the extent to which one’s interpretation is influenced by one’s culture. On the other hand
this relationship also points to the notion that one’s interpretation of a mediated message can
influence the dominant norms and values, and culture in general. An example of this would be
when the broadcasting of, what at first seems a provocative program, gradually renders what
used to be considered transgressive behavior more accepted.

Literature overview: Aspects of media literacy
In this section of the paper, the different conceptualizations of media literacy used in the field
of media literacy research are organized by relating them to the elements of the constructivist
model of media literacy outlined above.

Media institutions
In terms of media literacy, this element refers to knowledge about the economic, legal and
political contexts in which media messages are produced. The definitions of media literacy
which refer to ‘institutions’, can be grouped into the following categories: 1) definitions
which match the definitions of media literacy as mentioned in the model, 2) knowledge of the
economic aspects of the media, 3) knowledge of the political and/or historical dimensions of
media institutions, 4) definitions which refer to very general knowledge only, and 5)
knowledge of the practical consequences of the profit oriented nature of the media.
Brown (2001), when describing media literacy, provided a description of media
literacy that, of all the descriptions provided below, most closely matches the
conceptualization supplied by the constructivist model of media literacy; ”Critical viewing is
one major component of media literacy, referring to the study of media industries and of
economic, political and ethical contexts to learn about forces shaping media content,
including advertising economics and government regulation and public interest groups”(684).
This description, albeit at times a bit briefer, was echoed by numerous other researchers


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