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July 25 , 2010

Youth, Critical Literacies, and Civic Engagement

Arts, Media, and Literacy in the Lives of Adolescents


Through stories of youth using their many voices in and out of school to explore and express their ideas about the world, this book brings to the forefront the reality of lived literacy experiences of adolescents in today’s culture in which literacy practices reflect important cultural messages about the interplay of local and global civic engagement. The focus is on three areas of youth civic engagement and cultural critique: homelessness, violence, and performing adolescence. The authors explore how youth appropriate the arts, media, and literacy as resources and how this enables them to express their identities and engage in social and cultural engagement and critique. The book describes how the youth in the various projects represented entered the public sphere; the claims they made; the ways readers might think about pedagogical engagements, practice, and goals as forms of civic engagement; and implications for critical and arts and media-based literacy pedagogies in schools that forward democratic citizenship in a time when we are losing sight of issues of equity and social justice in our communities and nations.

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