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Making It Better : : LGBT Youth and New Pedagogies of Media Production

  • Author(s): Berliner, Lauren Samara
  • et al.
Abstract

Making it Better: LGBT Youth and New Pedagogies of Media Production turns a critical eye toward the common utilization of digital media production as identity work, community building and as part of an ongoing effort to garner resources for LGBT youth in the early 2000s. The project interrogates the deep imbrications between a politics of visibility and the valuation of youth video production as an inherently emancipatory practice. Based on participatory action research with a community of LGBT teen filmmakers in a weekly media workshop, I examine the dynamics of the group's video production choices in response to a national corporation's prompt to produce an anti-gay-bullying public service announcement. This in- situ approach enables me to detail how adult expectations for youth to produce media content may ultimately mask resource needs and homogenize representations of the LGBT youth population. Contrasting prominent discourses that describe this generation of young people as "digital natives" who express themselves most naturally through their media use, and youth access to media production technologies as a primary concern, I suggest new approaches to youth media pedagogy that account for a more complex relationship to production. The study offers a nuanced theorization of media practice that emphasizes intersubjective exchange during the production process as a priority over the creation of specific types of content thought to be empowering for its producers

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