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Remapping Pedagogical Borderlands: Critical Media Literacy as a Pedagogy of Freedom
Unformatted Document Text:  Remapping Pedagogical Borderlands 1 The term media literacy has been widely discussed in media studies or communications discipline. Further, with the rapid development of information and communication technologies, it is gaining increasing attentions from various disciplines including communications, education, humanities, and so on. Although there are diverse and often conflicting theoretical and pedagogical conceptualizations of media literacy, the term in a nutshell is understood as the ability to read, watch, and interpret various forms of print and visual media. Even if we take a cursory look at some statistics 1 about the younger generation’s media use, we can safely claim that they are living in a media-saturated cultural milieu. Given this, it is of utmost importance to acknowledge media literacy as an integral part of media education. Nonetheless, as greatly influenced by the behavioral tradition of communications studies or so-called communication science, for so long and so often the concept of media literacy has been narrowly and uncritically understood as mere cognitive or psychological aspects of media use and has been believed that the magnitude of media literacy can be measured in terms of individual students’ competency levels. Of course, what is missing in this sanitized and depoliticized understanding of media literacy is of the connection with bigger concerns of social transformation and democracy. Consequently, such naïve and uncritical conceptions of media literacy, whether individual media scholars are aware of it or not, serve to maintain the status quo. Without linking the project of media literacy to the

Authors: Nam, Siho.
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Remapping Pedagogical Borderlands
1
The term media literacy has been widely discussed in media
studies or communications discipline. Further, with the rapid
development of information and communication technologies, it is
gaining increasing attentions from various disciplines including
communications, education, humanities, and so on. Although there
are diverse and often conflicting theoretical and pedagogical
conceptualizations of media literacy, the term in a nutshell is
understood as the ability to read, watch, and interpret various
forms of print and visual media.
Even if we take a cursory look at some statistics
1
about the
younger generation’s media use, we can safely claim that they are
living in a media-saturated cultural milieu. Given this, it is
of utmost importance to acknowledge media literacy as an integral
part of media education. Nonetheless, as greatly influenced by
the behavioral tradition of communications studies or so-called
communication science, for so long and so often the concept of
media literacy has been narrowly and uncritically understood as
mere cognitive or psychological aspects of media use and has been
believed that the magnitude of media literacy can be measured in
terms of individual students’ competency levels. Of course, what
is missing in this sanitized and depoliticized understanding of
media literacy is of the connection with bigger concerns of
social transformation and democracy. Consequently, such naïve
and uncritical conceptions of media literacy, whether individual
media scholars are aware of it or not, serve to maintain the
status quo. Without linking the project of media literacy to the


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