07 SES 02 B, Intercultural Research on Youth and Media
Fueling fears against societal minorities, casting doubts on pluralistic societies and shifting norms of the public discourse – hateful media (understood as 'hate speech' referring to Butler 2016) can let societies appear more frightening, unsafe and risky. This media content is no peripheral matter of the digital sphere anymore. It influences political discourses as well as humans' everyday life (e.g. Nagle 2018). Youths as heavy users of digital media are affected in particular. In the case of Germany, taking the risk of encountering with hate online – devaluating, pejorative comments as well as propaganda videos articulating hate towards a broad spectrum of societal groups – has become the everyday business for most of them (Reinemann 2019; mpfs 2018; LfM NRW 2016). However, the hate does not go without an answer: schools face the media change of hate. Although there is only psychological research on effects (e.g. Rieger, Frischlisch & Bente 2013) and no educational scientific research so far, several didactical programs and materials address hate online by working with authentic hateful media content such as right-wing and Islamist extremist propaganda videos, memes, and user comments (e.g. ZIT-Münster 2017; Glaser & Pfeiffer 2017; ufuq.de 2016; Schmitt et al. in press). Overarching goal of the programs and materials is to promote the ability to critically deal with hateful media. Youths shall be capable to recognise, analyse and reflect on hateful media in terms of ingroup- and outgroup-constructions, devaluations, subtle manipulation etc. and shall act self-determined in socially responsibly towards it (e.g. Hobbs 2011).
At first appearance, this goal seems quite urgent: studies on youths’ Media Literacy underline vast deficits of youths in critically dealing with different kind of media (e.g. Stanford History Education Group 2016; Treumann et al. 2007). However, the moreover quantitative studies extensively disregard the performative dimension of how youths acquire – learn – abilities to criticise media and its local context. Due to these desiderate, the study aims to analyse how youths deal with hateful media, considering specifics and relevancies of the youths’ ‘Lebenswelt’ (Schütz 2016), particularly relations with Peers (Youniss & Smollar 1986) and experiences of ‘Othering’, racism and further devaluation in their everyday life (e.g. Terkessidis 2004). Focus lays on the social interactive dimension of performing and the same time acquiring abilities to critically deal with hateful media content.
Against this background, I conducted a case study focusing the social interactions of youths during a prevention class in schools addressing hate online. The study aims to exploratively inquire the media critique of youths based on the following research questions (RQ):
- Which are the key topics youths bring up dealing with hateful media? (RQ1)
- How do youths deal with hateful media, applying which practices? (RQ2)
- Which implications for the didactics of Intercultural Education in the context of hateful media and counter messages emerge from the results? (RQ3)
The paper will present the methodological approach and first results of the study.
For answering these research questions, I conducted a Videography within a ‘focused ethnographical’ research design (Tuma, Schnettler & Knoblauch 2013; Knoblauch 2001). Against a ‘traditional’ ethnography, a focused ethnography does not aim to inquire the structural specifics of a field, but focuses specific types of social interactions within a field; in case of my study the focus has been upon social interactions of youths in the context of hateful media. The strategy of data collection is not the long-term study of a field, but a data-intensive approach realised with the usage of video cameras combined with participatory observations. The study was situated in the framework of the European Commission-founded research project CONTRA (‘Countering Radicalisation by Narration towards Anti-Radical Awareness’). In CONTRA, media psychologists and educational scientists developed and evaluated overall three learning arrangements for schools, enabling teachers to promote youths’ media literacy with special focus on extremist propaganda (Schmitt et al. in press). Each of the three learning arrangements displays hateful media – authentic extremist propaganda videos, hateful user comments – as stimuli for small-group discussions, which are a crucial part of the sessions and allowed the youths to interact with their peers. The Videography took place in vocational schools in a city in the western part of Germany in 2017. The data collection included video recording as well as participatory observation of three learning arrangements á 90 minutes in two classes. During each learning arrangement, up to ten body cameras have been installed to record the youths’ interactions especially during the small-group discussions. The camera setting allows the in-depth reconstruction of social interactions from an ingroup-perspective. In total, over 80 hours of video footage have been generated, sighted and analysed. The analysis of the video data has been conducted based on the Video-Interaction-Analysis of Tuma, Schnettler & Knoblauch (2013). The inquiry switches continuously between inductive coding of the video material and deep analyses of selected interaction sequences in a group of researchers. The extraction of the key topics follows phenomenological principles formulated by Schütz (2016). The reconstruction of practices within the social interaction refers to conversation analytical principles of Garfinkel (1984).
So far, the analyses reveals the following central topics (RQ1) of hateful media: One of the most relevant topics are the hateful media authors‘ intentions. The youths assume manipulative intentions as well as interests in economical terms. Furthermore, youths bring up the potential attributes of an author: they discuss the authors’ age and (in)maturity, pathological issues, ‘bad’ biographical experiences and the status of anonymity in the web as potential reasons for uttering hate online. Also, the youths address their own experiences with hate online and strategies how to deal with it, prejudices and stereotypes and masculinity as a topic typically relevant in the adolescence. Five key practices of youth’s media critique could have been reconstructed (RQ2). (1) Hateful media has become subject of the youths’ in-depth interpretation and ‘understanding’. (2) Youths judge hateful media morally, regarding its‘ aesthetic, and regarding its‘ inconsistency resp. coherency. (3) Subversive interpretations – youths e.g. ironically re-frame media messages or put them into slogans. (4) Youths actively perform their disgust towards hateful media. (5) The youths themselves insult und devaluate – this practice is connected to the topic of masculinity – both: an unknown author and in a few cases also their peers. Among others one key implication for the didactics of intercultural education emerge from the analyses (RQ3). Hateful media triggers youths to critically reflect on their positions in their ‘Lebenswelt’. They do not only ask, what kind of person with which kind of attributes might “stand behind” hateful content. They also consider prejudices and stereotypes, which might negatively address other persons than themselves. At this point educational offers can start in an era of risk and tackle the challenges of hateful media.
Butler J. (2016): Haß spricht. Zur Politik des Performativen. 5th Ed. Suhrkamp Verlag, Berlin. Garfinkel, H. (1984): Studies in Ethnomethodology. Reprint from 1967. Cambridge: Polity Press. Glaser, S. & Pfeiffer, T. (Eds.) (2017): Erlebniswelt Rechtsextremismus. Modern – subversiv – hasserfüllt. Hintergründe und Methoden für die Praxis der Prävention. 5th Ed. Wochenschau Verlag, Schwalbach im Taunus. Hobbs, R. (2011): Digital and Media Literacy. Connecting Culture and Classroom. Corwin Press, Thousand Oaks. Knoblauch, H. (2001): Fokussierte Ethnographie. Soziologie, Ethnologie und die neue Welle der Ethnographie. sozialersinn, 1/2001. S.123-141. Landesanstalt für Medien Nordrhein-Westfalen (LfM) (2016): Ethik im Netz. Hate Speech. http://www.lfm-nrw.de/fileadmin/user_upload/lfm-nrw/Service/Veranstaltungen_und_Preise/Medienversammlung/2016/EthikimNetz_Hate_Speech-PP.pdf [30.1.19]. Medienpädagogischer Forschungsverbund Südwest (mpfs) (2018): JIM-Studie 2018. Jugend, Information, Medien. Basisuntersuchung zum Medienumgang 12- bis 19-Jähriger. Stuttgart. Nagle, A. (2018): Die Digitale Gegenrevolution. Online-Kulturkämpfe der Neuen Rechten von 4chan und Tumblr bis zur Alt-Right und Trump. Transcript Verlag, Bielefeld. Reinemann, C.; Nienierza, A.; Fawzi, N.; Riesmeyer, C., & Neumann, K. (2019): Jugend – Medien – Extremismus. Wo Jugendliche mit Extremismus in Kontakt kommen und wie sie ihn erkennen. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag. Rieger, D.; Frischlich, L.; Bente, G. (2013): Propaganda 2.0. Psychological Effects of Right-Wing und Islamic Extremist Internet Videos. Luchterhand Verlag, Köln. Schmitt, J.. B.; Ernst, J.; Rieger, D.; Vorderer, P.; Bente, G.; Roth, H.-J. (in press) (Eds.): Prävention und Propaganda. Forschungsergebnisse, didaktische Ansätze sowie interdisziplinäre und internationale Perspektiven zur pädagogischen Arbeit zu extremistischer Internetpropaganda. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften. Schütz, A. (2016): Der sinnhafte Aufbau der sozialen Welt. Eine Einleitung in die verstehende Soziologie. 7th. Ed. Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt am Main. Stanford History Education Group (2016): Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Civic Online Reasoning. Executive Summary. https://stacks.stanford.edu/file/druid:fv751yt5934/SHEG%20Evaluating%20Information%20Online.pdf [30.1.19]. Terkessidis, M. (2004): Die Banalität des Rassismus. Migranten zweiter Gerneration entwickeln eine neue Perspektive. Transcript Verlag, Bielefeld. Treumann, K. P.; Meister, D. M.; Sander, U.; Burkatzki, E.; Hagedorn, J.; Kämmerer, M,; Strotmann, M,; Wegener, C, (2007): Medienhandeln Jugendlicher. Mediennutzung und Medienkompetenz. Bielefelder Medienkompetenzmodell. VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden. Tuma, R.; Schnettler, B.; Knoblauch, H. (2013): Videographie. Einführung in die interpretative Videoanalyse sozialer Situationen. Wiesbaden: Springer VS (Lehrbuch). Ufuq.de (2016): Protest, Provocation or Propaganda? Guide to Preventing Salafist Ideologization in Schools and Youth Centers. Youniss, J. & Smollar, J. (1986): Adolescent relations with mothers, fathers, and friends. University of Chicago Press, Chicago. Zentrum für Islamische Theologie (ZIT) Münster (Eds.) (2017): Salam Online. Unterrichtsmaterialien zu Online Hate Speech & Islam.
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