Critical Theoretical Roots of Media Literacy Education

Benjamin Thevenin
Brigham Young University

While a relatively new field as such, media literacy education is influenced by a long tradition of critical cultural studies work that attempts to address the complicated relationship between media and society. This presentation will trace the influence of the scholarship of the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School throughout contemporary media studies to current approaches to the study and practice of media literacy education. These links are varied–including Adorno’s influence on Lazarsfeld’s seminal media effects research, the Frankfurt School’s relationship with the Birmingham School and the British cultural studies tradition, and the school’s shared critical theoretical roots with the study of the political economy of media industries. The presentation will demonstrate the rich history of critical media and cultural studies that has influenced the field of media literacy education and will reinforce the potential for critical media pedagogy to empower young people to engage in thoughtful cultural critique and meaningful social change.

Parking & Directions
Free parking is available for conference attendees. Park at the Providence Convention Center parking lot and receive a parking voucher at the registration desk.