Context design and critical language/media awareness: implications for a social digital literacies education

Tagg, Caroline and Seargeant, Philip (2019). Context design and critical language/media awareness: implications for a social digital literacies education. Linguistics and Education (Early Access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.linged.2019.100776

Abstract

Our starting point is the growing concern around the role of Facebook in spreading (dis)information and polarising political opinion, and subsequent debates around the need for enhanced critical digital literacies. The article reports on a study which drew on elicited data from Facebook users to explore their critical awareness of the communicative norms and social networks shaping their use of the site. Our analysis makes two key contributions. Firstly, we theorise the connection between our interviewees’ online practices and their critical language/media awareness through the concept of context design, which explains the dynamic ways in which people frame their interactions, based on unfolding understandings of the social space. Secondly, in tackling issues around disinformation and political polarisation, we highlight the need for critical digital literacies programmes at higher education institutes, which typically focus on information literacies, to take account of the social or interpersonal nature of much contemporary internet use.

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