Academic journal article NAER - Journal of New Approaches in Educational Research

Media Literacy through Photography and Participation. A Conceptual Approach

Academic journal article NAER - Journal of New Approaches in Educational Research

Media Literacy through Photography and Participation. A Conceptual Approach

Article excerpt


The development of technological innovations is having profound changes in the economic, political, institutional and environmental field leading to the exploitation of resources and the most needed people, due to the enormous increase in what has been known as Technologies Information and Communication (Masterman, 1993). Processes of social mass that oppress our identity and specificity as a human group that creatively seeks his own alternative collective development as indicated by Perez (2003, p. 9): "it is about new forms of social control mediated by particular consumption patterns predilection for certain lifestyles or divulgation of stereotyped speeches" and it is in schools, where it is further emphasized, as shown by the studies being conducted for more than twenty years (Buckingham, 2005)

Many of these issues are articulated in the mass media. This calls us to standardization and simplification of lifestyle, especially in their educational and cultural aspects that caused passive and submission / acceptance attitudes. These ideas stigmatize and regard young people as problematic beings in the social imaginary sense, legitimizing certain myths and determining how important it is the way in which society, its various structures and the adult world in general relate to them. (Buckingham, 2005).

Researchers, scientists, educators discussed the concerns that appear when dealing with the media and technology in general; however "the media are not ends, and remains the essential problem of inter-human communication, the relationship between people" (Montero and Navarro, 2008, p. 169).

In this new digital society, which has created new forms of literacy, the 'ability to learn, to know what to do with what you learn emerges imminently because that capacity of "being socially unequal is linked to social family background, cultural level and education" (Castells, 2001). For this reason, we need to address literacy if we want to have competent world citizens throughout educational policies that incorporate new dimensions in their designs, "to account for the formation of a subject participating communicationally in the new possibilities" (Phillippi & Avendano, 2011) policies and practices. According to Aguaded (2005, p.29), "we are entering a new era of knowledge, visual thinking, and that means not only decentralize the modes of transmission and circulation of knowledge, but also that today constitute the decisive stage of socialization".

It is required; therefore, to devise and design appealing and attractive spaces, participatory methodologies, and provide opportunities to implement a form of digital literacy sensitive to social and cultural representation. Participatory photography presented as such, with the intention of contributing to digital literacy and technologically helping youth to question representations and processes break otherness that as members of the educational community can also be expressed and integrated, to assert his voice.


Barthes understood that the images are not 'dumb' structures, nor for that matter, the recipients of the images, since these, as being typical of the culture and language, always tend to organize, interpret and mean what they see, what they live. In the set of such approaches, Barthes dwelves into the problems, recognizing and affirming that traditional methods of semiotics, as a resource for image analysis were limited, because beyond the inclusion of the receiver for a more complete analysis, it was necessary to go beyond the limits of classical semiotics, "(...) era model of the Standard, the Code, Act, or, if you prefer, of theology" (Barthes, 1986, p. 155). He held this idea in Camera Lucida reflection which emphasizes giving importance to the interaction between photography and the subject in the analysis of photografic images- by structuring two categories of access to the photographic image: the studium and punctum. …

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