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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Producing pedagogy : examining masculinities, femininities and sexualities in/through visual digital media Moore, Shannon D. M.


This dissertation explores the methodological, theoretical and pedagogical tensions of an eight-month ethnographic study within a Film classroom. Drawing on participant observation, group film discussions, and participant produced films, the chapters that follow consider the ways in which youth inhabit and make sense of masculinities/femininities and sexualities as conveyed in visual digital media, and how the very categories of youth, gender and media are constructed and disrupted in the process of video production—and through the process of research. This project challenges the notion that research captures ‘reality’ through meticulous data collection and analysis, and instead considers the way that ethnography produces the very materiality it attempts to represent (Britzman, 1995). Although methodologically encouraged by theories that promote “getting lost” (Lather, 2007), there were many moments in which modernist assumptions, institutional and discursive expectations, regulated the process of conducting and representing the research. Following a lineage of theorists who challenge the assumptions and expectations that burden empirical research (Britzman, 1995; Lather, 2006; Talburt, 2004; Youdell, 2005; 2006; 2009) and who trouble the notion of ‘what counts as data’ (Pitt & Britzman, 2003), the methodological tensions and theoretical incongruencies that arose through this project informed, and became, data. The articulation and analysis of these tensions, idiosyncrasies, and ‘failings’ as data, contributes to conversations about enacting troubling, and troubled research. Further to methodological failings, this project invites discussions of uncertainty, loss, and unknowability in order to provoke the pervasive ‘cultural myths’ of teacher (Britzman, 2003), and to contribute to larger theoretical discussions of pedagogy. Drawing on popular media and digital video production in/through/as pedagogy, this research considers the ways each might be reconceptualized. In particular, the ways in which popular media and digital video production practices invite the body and senses in/as pedagogy (Ellsworth, 2005). However, like the regulatory process of research, pervasive modernist discourses of teacher (Britzman, 2003), education (Popkewitz, 1997), knowledge, teaching and learning (Ellsworth, 2005) may restrict the pedagogical possibilities of popular media and digital video production within educational contexts. This regulatory parallel is indicative of the tangles of methodology and pedagogy amidst these chapters

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