The Politics of Representation in the Digital Revolution

A critical look at gender, race, and class within sociable media of YouTube, Blogs, and other Information and Communication Technologies.

I attended a round table discussion with that included Megan Boler, Associate Professor of Theory and Policy studies at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.

I'll just list a few of the things that came up that I found interesting. I'm only going to list the bullets as I haven't quite wrapped my head around the topic.

  • Online discussion seems to be an environment where people are more comfortable being open and honest, compared to offline (or face-to-face) sessions.
  • Popular culture should be seen as a framework against which education takes place. This makes a lot of sense to me since social media and technology are frequently associated with the youth, who create popular culture.
  • In terms of gender and online activity, men far outnumber women.
  • It's not only about changing access to ICT, but the mindset of potential participants. “I don't have anything of value to contribute.”
  • “Pedagogy of discomfort” - mentioned in a few papers…need to look up
  • Give people a voice to tell their own stories.
  • Multiple perceptions of the same event, how our stories can be different, or how we all have a different outlook / perception / worldview.
  • Be careful about reproducing dominant ideologies i.e. don't encourage the stereotype.

For me, there were a lot of new ideas generated at the discussion, particularly with my own perceptions about access and user-generated content. Seeing as this is a very new approach for me (leaning more towards social science), I'm going to need to further my research into this field to see if there's anything of value to incorporate into my teaching.

I had the following thoughts on my way back to the department:

  • In an age when information is the new economy, who has the power to define reality and our perception of the world?
  • Is the democratisation of the Internet / media / content real, or just a myth?

The following reading material has come up with a brief search, which I'll try to follow up on:


Note: There were some technical problems that meant Megan couldn't show of the video and slideshows that she'd prepared, which was unfortunate.

politics_of_representation_in_the_digital_revolution.txt · Last modified: 2008/10/31 16:36 by Michael Rowe