Congregating to create for social change: Urban youth media production and sense of community
Authors: Charmaraman, L.
Source: Learning, Media, & Technology, 38(1), 102-115.
Abstract: This case study explored how adolescents were empowered through after school media production activities and, in the process, re-imagined themselves as active and engaged citizens within their community. Through analyzing interviews, participant observations, and media artifacts of 14 participants (aged 15-19) over a period of 18 months, three main themes emerged from the triangulation of data: (1) sociocultural capital through group ownership; (2) safe space for creative expression; and (3) developing a sense of community with diverse voices. These young people exercised their collective voice toward pro-social actions by writing and producing their stories and showcasing their works at community screenings. They hoped that their videos would promote individual and community transformations. Building on youth development, community psychology, and media literacy frameworks, this article discusses educational implications like advocating for the power of youth media production to bridge participants' personal and private artistry to public and political statements.