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"The Trashmaster": Literacy and New Media

Language and Education Volume 27, Number 2, ISSN 0950-0782


In large parts of the developed world, increased connectivity has led to changes in the communicational landscape. Meaning-making associated with new media disturbs established ways of describing and defining literacy, leading some academics and educators to identify "new literacies" as a distinct break from traditional and predominantly print-based practices. At the same time, neo-liberal education policy is contributing to a narrowing of schooled literacy, focusing on what is easy to assess and measure. This paper looks at key themes in new media discourse and, using the idea of a "constellation of literacy practices", examines the meaning-making practices that surround the popular machinima movie "The Trashmaster" as a way of testing assumptions about the changing landscape of communication. It concludes by showing how these practices are at odds with current schooled literacy practices and suggests that this leads to inconsistencies in the ways in which we conceive of success and failure in literacy. (Contains 1 table and 5 figures.)


Merchant, G. (2013). "The Trashmaster": Literacy and New Media. Language and Education, 27(2), 144-160. Retrieved September 22, 2019 from .

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