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New Blog Series: New Media Practices in International Contexts

January 28, 2009

via Air-L@listserv.aoir.org mailing list
The Digital Media and Learning Research Hub, UCHRI
January 26 2009

Futures of Learning (www.futuresoflearning.org)

We are very pleased to introduce our new blog series, New Media Practices in International Contexts. Our blog series looks at the intersection of youth, new media and learning in a range of countries outside of North America and Western Europe. Inspired by the ways in which Scribner and Cole’s (1981) work among the Vai of Liberia transformed activity theory, Brian Street’s (1984, 1993) fieldwork in Iran contributed to the development of New Literacy Studies and Paulo Freire’s (1970) work in Brazil influenced critical pedagogy, we believe that examining new media practices from an international (and, in some cases, transnational) perspective will enhance our current efforts to theorize youth, new media and learning.

Over the next three to four months we will be introducing six case studies – Brazil, China, Ghana, India, Korea and Japan – which challenge us to think about the intersection of youth, new media and learning in new ways. Beginning with Cara Wallis’ analysis of China today, each country review will begin a discussion of the telecommunications landscape. Subsequent posts by HyeRyoung Ok (Korea), Anke Schwittay (India), Heather Horst (Brazil), Mimi Ito and Daisuke Okabe (Japan) and Araba Sey (Ghana) will focus upon internet and mobile phone practices, gaming as well as new media production.

As we have discovered in reading and writing up the material, each case study provides a unique perspective on the ways in which infrastructure, institutions and culture (among other factors) shape contemporary new media practices. If you know of books or articles that we have missed, or have feedback on any of the case studies, we would really welcome a comment or an email.

Before I conclude, I want to add one final note. In the exploratory phase of this project we sent out requests for articles, books and information to various individuals and news lists. We were all amazed at the generosity of fellow researchers in providing summaries of the fascinating work being carried out in this space and, in some cases, extensive bibliographies. We would like to thank the following individuals for their valuable suggestions and assistance:

Julie Soleil Archimbault, Francois Bar, Paul Braund, Larissa Hjorth,
Răzvan Nicolescu, John Postill and Mikko Villi.

In addition, many of us have also found discussions on the Media Anthropology Network and Association of Internet Researchers extremely
valuable. We are very grateful to these two communities of scholars.

References:

Freire, P. 1970. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Seabury Press.

Scribner, S and M. Cole. 1981. The Psychology of Literacy. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Street, B. 1984. Literacy in Theory and Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Street, B. 1993. Cross-cultural Approaches to Literacy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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