AuthorHartsell, Taralynn, 1967-
KeywordsEducation, Bilingual and Multicultural.
History, Latin American.
Education, Social Sciences.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractDespite claims that media have broad effects upon individuals' thinking and behavior, the field of media literacy research has failed to provide support of these claims with pertinent data and research. A few qualitative studies did examine how studying the mass media could help individuals become critical viewers. Yet, these qualitative studies study how the media could influence personal attitudes toward a specific culture. Lack of research became the rationale for conducting this study. Purpose of the study was to investigate whether studying Meso-American media could heighten one's sensitivity to and knowledge about the Meso-American culture and its people. If media could teach students to become critical "users" of mass media, then studying the mass media may also help in increasing students' sensitivity to other cultures and experiences. Eighteen students were the participants in this descriptive study of attitude change toward Meso-American media and culture. The participants were selected from available media arts courses that dealt with a non-American culture. A comparison group was also selected to contrast responses on the attitude surveys with the observed group. Five measurement instruments were used to delineate attitude change toward Meso-American media and culture. Data were analyzed by developing codes for the fieldnotes, interviews, and document analysis. Correlational t-tests were used to analyze the pre- and post-tests. Findings revealed some important information related to media literacy education and cultural studies courses. Among the most important outcomes of the study was the discovery that media provided students with the opportunity to become acquainted with a particular culture. This is especially true when history and culture cannot be segregated from the media themselves or from their codes. Another important finding was that media provided the visual element that touched the students emotionally. These findings have important implications for future media literacy research.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Language, Reading and Culture