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ERIC Number: EJ765410
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Mar
Pages: 13
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 8
ISSN: ISSN-0146-3934
"Mythical Realities": College Students' Constructions of the South Pacific
White, Carmen M.; Adinkrah, Mensah
College Student Journal, v41 n1 p99-111 Mar 2007
In 2002, the geographic knowledge of college-age students in the North was highlighted in a survey sponsored by the National Geographic Society. Students in the U.S. ranked second to last among those surveyed on questions assessing basic knowledge of world geography. That many young adults got "the facts" wrong about particular places was clearly demonstrated by the survey results. What is less clear, but equally worth engaging, is what young adults glean about the rest of the world, in lieu of factual knowledge. For example, to what extent is the vacuum of concrete knowledge about the South Pacific filled by stereotyped visions of a magical, mythical paradise beyond the ambit of modernity? This article provides an analysis of data compiled from surveys administered to 149 students enrolled in a general education area course on the South Pacific at a Midwestern public university. The data suggest that most students bring a received wisdom on the South Pacific to the course in the absence of substantive information, confirming that this lack of factual knowledge has not been devoid of any content but, rather, harnesses both specific notions of a tropical paradise and generic notions of native "others" created by popular media. (Contains 1 endnote.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A