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ERIC Number: EJ1169184
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1134-3478
The Use of Social Media and Popular Culture to Advance Cross-Cultural Understanding
Tuzel, Sait; Hobbs, Renee
Comunicar: Media Education Research Journal, v25 n51 p63-72 2017
Although we live in a global society, educators face many challenges in finding meaningful ways to connect students to people of other cultures. This paper offers a case study of a collaboration between teachers in the US and Turkey, where 7th grade students interacted with each other via online social media as a means to promote cultural understanding. In a close analysis of a single learning activity, we found that children had opportunities to share ideas informally through social media, using their digital voices to share meaning using online writing, posting of images and hyperlinks. This study found that students valued the opportunity to develop relationships with each other and generally engaged in sharing their common interests in Hollywood movies, actors, celebrities, videogames and television shows. However, not all teachers valued the use of popular culture as a means to find common ground. Indeed, teachers had widely differing perspectives of the value of this activity. Through informal communication about popular culture in a "Getting to Know You" activity, students themselves discovered that their common ground knowledge tended to be US-centric, as American students lacked access to Turkish popular culture. However, the learning activity enabled students themselves to recognize asymmetrical power dynamics that exist in global media culture.
Grupo Comunicar Ediciones. Marina 8, Atico B - 21001 Huelva, Spain. Tel: 34-959-248480; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 7
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States; Turkey
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A