THE ROLE OF MEDIA FOR CULTURAL TRANSMISSION: ADULTS’ SKEPTICISM AND STUDENTS’ CRITICISM

L. Duobliene

Vilnius University (LITHUANIA)
This paper analyzes the influence of media on education and cultural transmission. Different viewpoints on media literacy education: protectionist, media arts education, media literacy education and critical media literacy education (Masterman, 1994; Kellner, Share, 2007; Torres, Mercado, 2007) are presented and discussed, emphasizing their advantages and disadvantages. Latest encompass dishonest ideological purposes of media literacy that are hidden behind the notion of efficient teaching. This work defends the idea that media literacy is inevitable in modern schooling and family and that it is step by step replacing traditional ways of learning and cultural transmission. The paper evaluates media literacy in Lithuania by exploring the context of media education, i.e. by analyzing Wiki culture, didactic approach of media literacy, relationships among participants of learning process, and influence of information technologies on the development of students’ values.
The empirical part presents the qualitative research conducted using the semi-structured interview. The aim was to find out how cultural identity is formed and transmitted in families and schools, and how cultural identity (national, linguistic, religious, gender, social) is changing. There were the 11th form students from 10 (5 city and 5 rural) schools as well as their parents, grandparents and teachers interviewed. 40 informants all in all.
The hypotheses that the vertical intergeneration culture transmission in the families and the indirect one at school (teachers-students) give way to horizontal transmission, that senior generations loose authority for the sake of media were not proved. It became clear that students value families and the culture (traditions, language, religion) promoted in it. The research data did not provide evidence about the identity hybrydization and refusal of national cultural values. Students construct their identity by using the heritage of transmitted values. These results show that senior generations perceive the young generation as being very different, but in reality as data show, it does not change much, though it is under globalization and media influence.
Teachers, parents and grandparents, who mostly represent protectionists or are simply oriented on odinary media literacy education of youth, themselfs are not enough critical, even sceptic and very often bias toward media information. Students, who are more rational and critical toward media information expect that values must be transmited through live contact. From the empirical data it is obvious that in the real life students’ cultural identity has more practical and modern expressions than the adults’. Contradiction of the students’ responces raise the question for discussion - is the cultural identity of the students a simulation, which is formed out of learned and formally without any resistance accepted cultural values, symbols, stereotypes or is it game learned from virtuality?