Date of Degree

5-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Urban Education

Advisor(s)

Wendy Luttrell

Keywords

critical youth studies; digital media; subjectivity; visual methods

Abstract

Young women's digital media practices unfold within a postfeminist media landscape dominated by rapidly circulating visual representations that often promote superficial readings of human value. Meanwhile the dominant framing within educational policy and practice of digital media literacy insufficiently captures young people's motivations for engaging in multimedia production, online gaming and blogging. In addition to using digital media for social purposes, and to navigate dimensions of social difference like race, class and gender, working class young women of color also use digital media to develop internal awareness of their selves. The processes of documenting the self, reflecting on the documented self, and laying claim to the intrinsic value of the self are expressions of identity, development and agency. These practices can thus be understood as projects of self-making operating on multiple levels: 1) as articulations of agency against contexts that suppress this agency; 2) as documentations of and reflections on change and growth over time; 3) as explorations of relationality and related themes of care and obligation; 4) and as a means of critiquing structures of power.

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