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Transformative Critical Media Literacy: Negotiating Latinidad and Girl Culture Through Theatre Pedagogy


This dissertation utilizes textual analysis of media representations of Latinidad and girl culture in order to demonstrate the multiple subjectivities Latinxs inhabit as well as highlight the power relations structured by race, gender, class and sexuality embedded in the mass media. This analysis considers the challenges young Latinas face when negotiating their identities with, through and against the oppressive images of the mass media. Drawing on the work of Chicana/Latina feminist educators, I term this pedagogical project Transformative Critical Media Literacy, defined as learning how to critically read images produced and put forth by the mass media and recognize them as representations of institutionalized oppression so as not to internalize and perpetuate the oppressive messages. TfCML can facilitate a process by which media viewers can imagine ways to transform the oppressive image to one of empowerment and liberation. TfCML is made up of methods that draw from Latinx media studies, Chicana/Latina feminist epistemology and pedagogy; and theatre studies methods as articulated by Augusto Boal and his Theatre of the Oppressed. TfCML offers Latinxs a space to negotiate their own process of identity while developing a critically conscious relationship with the mass media and hopefully become invested in social transformation and liberation.

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