Prince Charming has perfect white teeth: Performativity and media education
Dezuanni, Michael L. (2006) Prince Charming has perfect white teeth: Performativity and media education. Media International Australia Incorporating Culture and Policy: quarterly journal of media research and resources.
This paper argues that Judith Butler’s post structuralist theory of performativity provides a valuable tool for understanding how students might contest prevailing hegemonic gender discourses in media education classrooms. It suggests an alternative to structuralist "empowerment" and "critical pedagogy" approaches, which continue to motivate many media educators, despite serious questions being asked about their effectiveness. The paper draws on data collected from a unit of work about video games, completed by year ten students at an all boys’ secondary school in Brisbane. It argues that many media related activities fail to elicit genuinely "critical" responses because they are complicit in the regulation of hegemonic discourses. It suggests that teachers are more likely to create the potential for variation in their students’ gender performances if activities are dialogic and open-ended and avoid placing emphasis on discourses of excellence and competition.
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