Harvard Educational Review
  1. Fall 2003 Issue »

    Media Education and the End of the Critical Consumer

    David Buckingham
    In this article, David Buckingham addresses the challenges media educators face in dealing with postmodern media culture. Buckingham begins by outlining the nature of contemporary developments in children's media environments and how these relate to broader changes in their social status. He argues that these developments represent a fundamental challenge to the modernist project of media education, with its emphasis on the production of critical consumers. Buckingham then moves on to draw on his own empirical studies of media classrooms in the United Kingdom. He deals first with the issue of identity formation and the implications of current changes for teaching about representation. Second, he considers the role of play, particularly in relation to students' media production, and the potential limitations of a more ludic, or playful, approach. Buckingham then addresses the difficulties posed by students' use of parody, both ideologically and in terms of learning. Finally, he considers a more comprehensively postmodern approach to media pedagogy. Ultimately, Buckingham suggests that the modernist project cannot simply be abandoned by media educators, but that it does need to be comprehensively reconsidered in light of contemporary developments. (pp. 309-327)

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    Fall 2003 Issue


    Popular Culture and Democratic Practice
    Nadine Dolby
    Merchants of Death
    Media Violence and American Empire
    David Trend
    Media Education and the End of the Critical Consumer
    David Buckingham
    "Welcome to the Jam"
    Popular Culture, School Literacy, and the Making of Childhoods
    Anne Haas Dyson
    Open Mics and Open Minds
    Spoken Word Poetry in African Diaspora Participatory Literacy Communities
    Maisha T. Fisher
    Foot Soldiers of Modernity
    The Dialectics of Cultural Consumption and the 21st-Century School
    Paul Willis
    Cultural Negotiations
    Puerto Rican Intellectuals in a State-Sponsored Community Education Project, 1948-1968
    Cati Marsh Kennerley
    Contesting Culture
    Identity and Curriculum Dilemmas in the Age of Globalization, Postcolonialism, and Multiplicity
    Cameron McCarthy, Michael Giardina, Susan Harewood, and Jin-Kyung Park

    Book Notes

    Desis in the House
    By Sunaina Marr Maira

    Growing Up with Television
    By JoEllen Fisherkeller

    Latino/a Popular Culture
    Edited by Michelle Habell-Pallán and Mary Romero

    Brave New Voices
    By Jen Weiss and Scott Herndon

    By Tucker Shaw