London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

The impact of mediated communication on children's identity and citizenship

Author(s) Jan Masek  
Publisher CiCe Publications  
Year 2001  
Editor A. Ross, Learning for Democratic Europe  
Language English  
Age group -  
Children's perception of the world, their experiences, values and attitudes have become increasingly determined by technical communication. This paper discusses media-mediated communication as a term that refers to the communication between different participants separated in space and/or time, mediated by and interconnected by media. Media systems such as computers, TV, HDTV, radio, (video)phone, print, film, video, and other cyberspace activities include a wide variety of technical systems enabling people to communicate with each other. For example, computer-mediated communication (CMC) is a generic term now commonly used for communication through computers and networks (Dills, 1998). It is indisputable that all these systems provide the virtual experience of interaction with a machine (Swartz, 1996).1 This paper is primarily interested in discussing the impact of mediated communication and the broader notion of virtual experience on children's identity and citizenship. In practice, there are many original formulations of these essential concepts, but as Delgado-Moreira (1997) notes '... doing qualitative research, however, we discover that clear words (such as citizenship and identity) in reality comprise a complex network of behaviour, emotions and history.' The modelling of the impact of media on children's identity, national identity and citizenship - in relation to behaviour, emotions and cultural consciousness in general - is the main purpose of this article. Analysing and detecting the main aspects of this problem need to be perceived at both the behavioural and the educational technological science level. Drawing on theoretical considerations of very complicated and complex problems, the author explores only the basic 'technology features' of this relationship. In a technology education context, we discover many questions: are there some common factors in media messages which influence the child's attitudes, values and knowledge formation? If so, what are they? How can they contribute to the formation of cultural identity and cross-cultural communication?

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