Democracy 2.0

Media, Political Literacy and Critical Engagement


Participatory media 2.0 have shifted the terrain of public life. We are all—individually and collectively—able to produce and circulate media to a potentially limitless audience, and we are all, at minimum, arbiters of knowledge and information through the choices—or clicks—we make when online. In this new environment of two-way and multidimensional media flow, digital communication tools, platforms and spaces offer enormous potential for the cultivation, development and circulation of diverse and counter-hegemonic perspectives. It has also provoked a crisis of communication between oppositional “echo chambers.”

Democracy requires a functioning, critically-engaged and literate populace, one that can participate in, cultivate and shape, in meaningful and critical ways, the discourses and forms of the society in which it exists. Education for democracy, therefore, requires not only political literacy but also media and digital literacies, given the ubiquity and immersiveness of Media 2.0 in our lives.

In Democracy 2.0, we feature a series of evocative, international case studies that document the impact of alternative and community use of media, in general, and Web 2.0 in particular. The aim is to foster critical reflection on social realities, developing the context for coalition-building in support of social change and social justice. The chapters herein examine activist uses of social and visual media within a broad and critical frame, underpinning the potential of alternative and DIY (Do It Yourself) media to impact and help forge community relationships, to foster engagement in the civic and social life of citizens across the globe and, ultimately, to support thicker forms of democratic participation, engagement and conscientization, beyond electoralist, representative, normative democracy.


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Biographical Note

Paul R. Carr is a Full Professor in the Department of Education at the Université du Québec en Outaouais, Canada, and is also the UNESCO Chair in Democracy, Global Citizenship and Transformative Education. Michael Hoechsmann is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Lakehead University (Orillia). Gina Thésée is a Full Professor in the Department of Education and Pedagogy at University of Quebec à Montreal (UQAM) in Montreal, Canada.

Table of contents

Foreword: It’s a Post-Truth World After All xi Shirley R. Steinberg Acknowledgments xiii Introduction: Democracy 2.0, Old and New Media, and the Quest for Engaged Participation xv Michael Hoechsmann, Paul R. Carr, and Gina Thésée Section 1: Democracy and Mediatized Participation 1. Technocracy, Education, and the Global Imperative 3 Peter Pericles Trifonas 2. Voluntary Subservience and Capitalist Religion in the Era of Reality Television Politics 13 William M. Reynolds 3. The Development of Democratic Citizenship within the Context of Education for Latin American Unification: Media Literacy 2.0, from Classroom Praxis to Critical Engagement 27 Raul Olmo Fregoso Bailon and Felipe de Jesús Alatorre Rodríguez 4. Digital Citizens, Not Just Consumers: Defining Digital Citizenship for Democracy 49 Megan Ryland 5. Engagement with the Mainstream Media and the Relationship to Political Literacy: The Influence of Hegemonic Education on Democracy 65 Paul R. Carr, Gary W. J. Pluim, and Lauren Howard Section 2: Contexts of Contested Notions of Democracy and Media 6. Embodiment as Discourse in Indigenous Photography: Narrative as Multiplicitous Reality 85 Kalli Paakspuu 7. The Role of Social Media in Africa’s Democratic Transitions: Lessons from Burundi 109 Anne Munene and Ibrahim Magara 8. Critical Pedagogy through Participatory Video: Possibilities for Post-Colonial Higher Education in the Caribbean 127 Lynette Sampson 9. Community-Driven Media in Australia: The Public Pedagogy of Australian Indigenous Activism 147 Renee Desmarchelier, Jon Austin, and Cally Jetta 10. The Battle for Free Universal Education in Chile: Using YouTube in the Student Protests of 2011 165 Salomé Sola-Morales 11. The #Ocupaescola (#Occupyschool) Movement: Counter-Hegemonic Media and New Ways to Fight for Education 181 Ivan Bomfim 12. “Democracy! Not Just for Locals But for Us Too!”: Exploring Multi-Ethnic Young People’s Calls for Social Change in Hong Kong through Cellphilms 195 Casey Burkholder Afterword: Danger Ahead: Ready Yourself and Join the Struggle 213 Peter McLaren Author Biographies 219 Index 225