Our special series of #K12Media chats will centre on Concept Three from the 8 Key Concepts of Media Literacy: Audiences negotiate meaning. Last week we discussed how media contribute to our understanding of reality. We explored the idea that the familiar spaces and places we inhabit influence how we perceive our reality, and what we feel we are able to do within it. We spoke about the construction of intersections, neighbourhoods, schools and even our virtual environments online. This week we’ll look at how WE negotiate meaning.
For a refresher on the concepts:
3. Audiences negotiate meaning
Media are constructions, and in turn, they can shape our reality, but there is more to the equation than that. We, as viewers, create impressions and opinions of the world around us based not only on the media we are exposed to, but also based on what we bring to the table. Our biases, personal experiences, socio-economic status, culture, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability and more all contribute to how we make meaning out of a media text. In order to truly understand how we negotiate meaning from a media text, we need to better understand the intersectionality that informs our individual perspectives. We also need to confront the fact that the meaning of a text is not fixed, but rather negotiated by the individual.