Combating cyclops : critical approaches to media literacy and popular culture in senior English

Jetnikoff, Anita (2006) Combating cyclops : critical approaches to media literacy and popular culture in senior English. English in Australia, 41(1).

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In recent press reports, the ongoing debate about low and high culture in English has reared its ugly head like Cyclops. A traditional viewpoint, which privileges Literature over 'everyday' texts, like Cyclops, is rather one-eyed, since it is based on the false assumption that students are no longer studying the literary 'classics.' In this conservative argument, 'low' or 'pop' culture is represented as devoid of aesthetics or moral worth, whilst Literature supposedly paves the way for 'truth and beauty'(Slattery, 2005, p. 10). All texts produced by a culture both reflect the culture itself and the wider world in some way, (Moon, 2001, p. 72) and ironically journalists who in the manner of Cyclops, 'forge the furious thunder,' over the demise of the English curriculum present their work through 'everyday' textual forms. Perhaps a hidden agenda is to silence an informed critique of that 'popular' text – the broadsheet. If students are taught to read critically, they are better equipped to question opinions they might encounter in print and elsewhere. In practice, English teachers and students haven't stopped studying Literature. Popular culture works have been included for study alongside, in conjunction with and juxtaposed against the literary canon. Literature is now approached differently. As English teachers we continue to study Macbeth alongside MacDonalds and Supersize Me.

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ID Code: 3731
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Literature, pop culture, popular culture, English Curriculum, literature vs everyday text debate, media in English, critical literacy
ISSN: 0155-2147
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 AATE
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 30 Nov 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:19

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