Critical Media Effects: Exploring the Crossroads of Media Effects and Social Justice

Sponsor: Mass Communication Division
Sat, 11/21: 3:30 PM  - 4:45 PM 
Asynchronous Event  
Room: Asynchronous Session 
This session on critical media effects explores the crossroads of media effects research and social justice scholarship. It highlights media effects research that incorporates critical consciousness about inclusion, inequalities, intersectionality, power, and privilege to address important and timely social issues relating to inequalities, discrimination, and intergroup relations. Panelists discuss and apply critical media effects perspectives across multiple media formats, socio-political contexts, and intersecting identities (such as gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, and class).


Srividya Ramasubramanian, Texas A&M University  - Contact Me


Travis L. Dixon, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign  - Contact Me


Activism and Social Justice Division
Mass Communication Division


Linking Media Effects and Critical Media Literacy

One fruitful approach to the intersection of media effects research and social justice is through critical media literacy. Critical media literacy is considered a direct means of intervening in social injustices and inequalities by engaging participants in a structured educational experience in which media practices, content, and influence are interrogated. I will present a mixed methods research study that examines 6th graders' responses to an in-school critical media literacy program on the topic of gender and media. 


Erica Scharrer, University of Massachusetts, Amherst  - Contact Me

Trans*gressing Mediated Status Quo: The Media Effects of Power Exemplification

Critics have pointed out that the media overwhelmingly feature powerful trans people in the news reports on trans policies/rights, while ordinary trans people are mainly seen in tragic news (e.g., hate crimes). The present research experimentally investigates how the power exemplification of marginalized outgroup members in the news redirects people's intergroup responses. The findings suggest that power exemplification of trans people functions with audience sex to influence responsibility attribution for trans issues, dehumanization, and aggression. 


Minjie Li, University of Tampa  - Contact Me

Using the Critical Media Effects Framework to Examine Crossroads of Race, Religion, and Gender

This content-analytical study applies the Critical Media Effects framework to media representations of Sikh-Americans in mainstream U.S. newspapers since 9/11. Results show how larger sociocultural political factors such as #Muslimban and Islamophobia shape both media representations of violence against as well as resistances by this minoritized group. In particular, it will examine the ways in which intersections of race, gender, and religion are represented in the media by examining the shifts between hypervisibility and invisibility at the micro and macro levels of analysis. 


Srividya Ramasubramanian, Texas A&M University  - Contact Me


Satveer Kaur Gill  - Contact Me

YouTube as LGBTQ Space: The Perspective of the Content Creators

Social media can serve as ideal spaces for identity development and community building among the stigmatized or disenfranchised. This interview study engaged 13 LGBTQ YouTube microcelebrities to investigate power and privilege on social media from the creators' perspectives. Findings suggest that LGBTQ YouTubers must balance social responsibility, audience relationships, and commodification distinctly from a "mainstream" YouTube microcelebrity when creating safe spaces, balancing the online and offline, strategizing connection, and offering information. 


Brandon Miller, University of Massachusetts, Boston  - Contact Me


Bradley J. Bond, University of San Diego  - Contact Me