Media Literacy: A Reader produces a critical understanding of media culture designed to help students develop the ability to interpret media as well as understand the ways they themselves consume and affectively (emotionally) invest in media. Such an appreciation encourages both critical thinking and self-analysis, as students begin to realize that everyday decisions are not necessarily made freely and rationally. While we strongly believe that humans exercise agency, we understand that there are social, cultural, and political forces that affect agency. In this context our conception of media literacy analyzes the ways our everyday decisions are encoded and inscribed by emotional and bodily commitments relating to the production of desire and mood, all of which leads, in Noam Chomsky&8217;s famous phrase, to the «manufacture of consent.» These complex pedagogical and ideological issues demand rigorous skills including questioning, analyzing, interpreting, and meaning-making. Media Literacy: A Reader is a comprehensive collection of essays that is sorely needed, as most of the academic work in the area is written not for an introductory audience, but for scholars in the field. It will shape the agenda in media literacy for years to come.
Donaldo Macedo, Shirley R. Steinberg
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