Media Literacy Art Education: Deconstructing Lesbian and Gay Stereotypes in the Media

Popular media such as films, television programmes/commercials and magazines have become the dominant source through which children learn about others and their world, develop attitudes and beliefs as manifested in media expressions, and formulate their sense of identity. Popular media have enormous influence on children who are constantly immersing themselves in value-laden media images that perpetuate over-generalised representations of cultural groups, in particular, lesbian and gay stereotypes. By critically examining media images in the art room, media literacy art education offers art teachers and their students an opportunity to nurture their aesthetic sensibilities, social awareness and the media literacy necessary to resist and challenge prejudiced, dehumanised or unjust social practices. This article explores issues of lesbian and gay stereotypes in the media, and proposes using media images as a pedagogical device to help students deconstruct them.

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