One of the characteristics of oppressive cultural action which is almost never perceived by the dedicated but naive professionals who are involved is the emphasis on the focalized view of problems rather than on seeing them as dimensions of a totality.
-- Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1972, p.111).
It was reported in the news earlier this week that YouTube contained numerous recordings from mobile phones of school fights. Adolescence psychologist, Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, slammed the service for allowing this type of stuff to be made widely available, citing that children should be protected from this type of voilence on YouTube, to avoid "copycat" behaviours, and that the service should be shut down, or at least blocked to young people by their parents.
Hmmm, sounds similar to the not-so-recent turkey-slapping episode on Big Brother (Australia) which saw two male contestants being booted out of the house for their actions towards a female participant, and parliamentarians, including PM John Howard, calling for the axing of the show.
Leigh Blackall raised the phone recording of school fighting phenomenon in his recent talk at the Global Summit 06, with the point that we are so wrapped up in the pervasiveness of the technology that we aren't seeing the fact that our schools are becoming increasingly dangerous places for our children - and it's the children who are capturing this evidence on behalf of their parents, teachers, prinicipals, members of parliament, social workers, counsellors, police officers, and our many other community support and advocacy networks.
So, what are they doing about it? Daming YouTube and side-stepping the real problems alive in our schools! Where's the critical and considered discussion about what is actually being recorded on these services and shows?
We are accepting of what appears on our TV screens of an evening too - this little beauty was captured from the TV show NCIS - some parallel huh?! It's like saying a gun is a 44 Magnum, not a shotgun and then paying no attention to the consequences of a shooting!
As Carmel Egan reports in The Age, these "trends" illustrate similar issues that are apparent in our society - our TV shows, movies, news, documentaries, YouTubes, Google Videos, BlipTVs, Bloggers, WordPresses, Odeos, and so on... are all representations of Self and Society. We reflect in our everyday the everyday actions and beings we are.So, if we don't like what we're seeing, don't shoot the messenger - seek out the heart of the problem and make a choice to do something about it!
[schooling], [censorship], [schoolchildren], [control], [YouTube], [BigBrother], [Freire]