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The Influence and Power of Visual Media on Adolescents and the need for School-Based Media Literacy Instruction

Noro, Paul Steven (2010) The Influence and Power of Visual Media on Adolescents and the need for School-Based Media Literacy Instruction. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The significance of media literacy pedagogy in American public schools is crucial in helping teenagers comprehend the visual media world in which they live. The world is currently a place where our youth are inundated with visual messages that must be received, interpreted and critically analyzed. The dilemma is not so much in the reception of the visual media because media is so prevalent in our American society; rather the dilemma lies within the interpretation and critical analysis of said messages. The context, purpose and meaning(s) of visual media has within its realm a social, capitalist and consumerism component that is both expansive and influential. The site for this study was a high school in a suburban school district located in the northeastern section of the United States. This dissertation consists of three theoretical essays. I first explored how power, agency and lack of critical media education each play a significant role in the exploitation of today's youth. I then reviewed current research to draw on a variety of perspectives and constructs in relation to more specific areas of media literacy, such as, effects of visual media on sexuality, alcohol and drug abuse, on body image, on violence and how adolescents form meaning of media and images. I then explored the ways in which teenagers make sense of visual media and how they view their own metacognition in relation to their exchanges with visual artifacts that confronts them on a daily basis. I also observed the ways in which teenagers view and interpret visual images and how these images influence their belief systems. Exploring these areas and questions helped me to appreciate the complexities of how the media is utilized by corporate America in regard to advertising; the interplay of visual imagery and how, subconsciously, the wants and desires of teenagers are exposed; and the need for public educational institutions to provide a more relevant curricula and policy that reflects our postmodern culture.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Noro, Paul
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairGarman, Noreenngarman@pitt.eduNGARMAN
Committee MemberFager,
Committee MemberTrovato, Charlenetrovato@pitt.eduTROVATO
Committee MemberGunzenhauser, Michaelmgunzen@pitt.eduMGUNZEN
Date: 11 January 2010
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 11 November 2009
Approval Date: 11 January 2010
Submission Date: 9 December 2009
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Education; Media Literacy; Secondary Education; Visual Media
Other ID:, etd-12092009-144629
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:09
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:54


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