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Making visible the invisible: Exploring McLuhan’s figure/ground in digital citizenship education
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Media and Communication Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1548-1981
University of Massachusetts, Amherst.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8980-3576
2021 (English)In: Explorations in Media Ecology, ISSN 1539-7785, E-ISSN 2048-0717, Vol. 20, no 4, p. 437-455Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Figure and ground are analytical concepts used to discuss how some elements of a lived situation dominate perception, while others remain in the background. This applies not least to media and research from the medium theoretical tradition as well as later scholarship on media infrastructures, which have been keen to explore the taken for granted or invisible aspects of the media landscape. In media education, however, there is still a tendency to focus on the figure of digital media by treating media technologies as tools or to focus on the critical evaluation of media content. This article draws on McLuhan’s co-authored textbook City as Classroom to suggest a pedagogical turn towards the ground of the internet. Based on concrete examples from middle school digital citizenship education, the article shows how a focus on the ground of digitalization actualizes topics such as environmental concerns, global inequalities and data privacy. These topics are conceptualized and discussed through the environmental/spatial metaphors clouds, exhaust and architecture.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Intellect Ltd., 2021. Vol. 20, no 4, p. 437-455
Keywords [en]
McLuhan, digital citizenship education, figure/ground, infrastructure literacy, media environments, visualization
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Critical and Cultural Theory
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-47865DOI: 10.1386/eme_00110_1Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85127376975OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-47865DiVA, id: diva2:1620900
Available from: 2021-12-16 Created: 2021-12-16 Last updated: 2022-04-22Bibliographically approved

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Forsler, Ingrid

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
  • apa-old-doi-prefix.csl
  • sodertorns-hogskola-harvard.csl
  • sodertorns-hogskola-oxford.csl
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf