Culture Jamming: Using Literacy Skills to Navigate Cultural Messages on the Internet

Posted: 19 Feb 2015 Last revised: 8 Mar 2015

See all articles by Nicole Cooke

Nicole Cooke

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Graduate School of Library and Information Science

Date Written: February 17, 2015

Abstract

The Internet is saturated with information that is of low-to-no quality. Yet, with lightening speed a great deal of this information goes viral without being vetted or confirmed. It’s easy to get caught up in excitement of a juicy piece of gossip or in the mindlessness of YouTube videos. Unfortunately, there is another, darker, side to this information coin – the inordinate amount of information that is salacious and malicious to the point of being damaging. If such information is ever retracted, disproved or corrected, the damage has been done and the evidence remains digitally archived for eternity.

How can Internet users become more competent and intelligent users of information, to the point of becoming culture jammers who critique popular culture in an effort to challenge the status quo and resist dominant cultural practices? (Carducci, 2006; Harris, 2004; Lasn, 2005; Sandlin, 2007; Sandlin & Milam, 2008). An approach to reaching this level of critical media consumption is to impart literacy skills to Internet users. Specifically, information literacy (Elmborg, 2006; Eisenberg et al., 2004), digital literacy (Bawden, 2008; Bawden & Robinson, 2002), and cultural literacy (Ladson-Billings, 1995; Overall, 2009) would facilitate the average Internet user’s ability to seek, find, and use appropriate information, which in turn would facilitate more thoughtful dialogues and learning. Literacy skills would facilitate a shift from the rote crowdsourcing of information on the Internet to substance based community inquiry processes (Bruce & Bishop, 2008; Bruce & Casey, 2012; Bruce & Davidson, 1996).

Keywords: ESS Digital Sociology

JEL Classification: ESS Digital Sociolgy

Suggested Citation

Cooke, Nicole, Culture Jamming: Using Literacy Skills to Navigate Cultural Messages on the Internet (February 17, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2566442

Nicole Cooke (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Graduate School of Library and Information Science ( email )

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