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Remapping Pedagogical Borderlands: Critical Media Literacy as a Pedagogy of Freedom
Unformatted Document Text:  Remapping Pedagogical Borderlands 4 of ideology, politics, and power dynamics embedded in the production, distribution, and consumption of media artifacts and popular culture. Despite this, most media education programs in the U.S. do not incorporate “critical” media literacy into their formal curriculums. Even worse, they are greatly and increasingly influenced by corporate culture, which limits media education to mere vocational training. In fact, nowadays it is not difficult to find corporate-sponsored curriculums aimed at teaching students necessary skills expected by the media industries, whereas there is a scarcity of critical media literacy courses. On the other hand, in the tradition of critical media studies as opposed to communication science, media artifacts and popular culture tend to be dismissed, grounded in the theoretical assumption that such superstructural apparatuses only serve to reproduce false ideologies and to maintain the unequal distribution of cultural capital. For instance, in Louis Althusser’s theoretical scheme, media are seen as one of the most efficient Ideological State Apparatuses (ISAs) for reproducing the capitalist dominance. 5 Although this line of argument offers a valuable insight into the nature and function of superstructural apparatuses with regard to the reproduction of unequal social relations, such reproductionist logic is limited insofar as it fails to present a possibility of oppositional ideology formations and practices. A fundamental question to ask is: If the dominant ideology is the ideology of ruling class and that ideology is so powerful and all-encompassing, how can we

Authors: Nam, Siho.
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Remapping Pedagogical Borderlands
4
of ideology, politics, and power dynamics embedded in the
production, distribution, and consumption of media artifacts and
popular culture. Despite this, most media education programs in
the U.S. do not incorporate “critical” media literacy into their
formal curriculums. Even worse, they are greatly and
increasingly influenced by corporate culture, which limits media
education to mere vocational training. In fact, nowadays it is
not difficult to find corporate-sponsored curriculums aimed at
teaching students necessary skills expected by the media
industries, whereas there is a scarcity of critical media
literacy courses.
On the other hand, in the tradition of critical media
studies as opposed to communication science, media artifacts and
popular culture tend to be dismissed, grounded in the theoretical
assumption that such superstructural apparatuses only serve to
reproduce false ideologies and to maintain the unequal
distribution of cultural capital. For instance, in Louis
Althusser’s theoretical scheme, media are seen as one of the most
efficient Ideological State Apparatuses (ISAs) for reproducing
the capitalist dominance.
5
Although this line of argument offers
a valuable insight into the nature and function of
superstructural apparatuses with regard to the reproduction of
unequal social relations, such reproductionist logic is limited
insofar as it fails to present a possibility of oppositional
ideology formations and practices. A fundamental question to ask
is: If the dominant ideology is the ideology of ruling class and
that ideology is so powerful and all-encompassing, how can we


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