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Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

K.C. Nat Turner

Second Advisor

Korina Jocson

Third Advisor

Krista Harper

Subject Categories

Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Instructional Media Design | Language and Literacy Education | Secondary Education


From mini screens on our cell phones to large flat screens hanging in institutional hallways, visual digital media are part of our everyday lives. This is especially true for youth, who in their leisure time increasingly spend time watching and making video content. Yet there are few opportunities for youth in either their community or school settings to access formal instruction in digital media literacy, including video production. In this dissertation, I examine the possibilities and challenges for doing youth media inside schools. What do youth allow themselves to say when doing media production in school and how do they voice their social and cultural concerns around pressing issues in society? There is little research on youth media inside schools, even as video making and video use continues to grow. Drawing from existing research on youth media, the new literacies and critical media literacy, this study examines how student voice gets shaped in a high school classroom and what role it plays for the students and the school. I carry out a video-cued classroom ethnography to examine the class's norms, discourses and structures. I analyze the students' video-cued focus group interview data, through the lens of heteroglossia, drawing on Bakhtinian ideas of language and identity as heterogenous. Video-cued ethnography provides the research with a multivocal dimension, as the same video clips are shown to various participants who each comment on it, thereby producing a dialogue across positionalities, space, and time. This study shows how student voice is constituted of multiple stances and ideas, at times conflicting ones. Students took on a variety of discursive strategies to produce their videos and to address an audience beyond the media production classroom through the school-wide student news program. The students use their creative agency to mobilize their peers on topics they believed were valuable to students and that point to a shared world within their school. Additionally, the research demonstrates that youth media practices inside school may serve as social and public acts that go beyond the classroom and that approach civic engagement.