Anishinaabe Art on Social Media
Viewers' Comments and a Measure of Cultural Literacy
Keywords:cultural literacy, Anishinaabe, Indigenous art and culture, comment sections, critical discourse analysis
This study lies within the topic of online Indigenous art perception with the objective of measuring Indigenous cultural literacy on this topic. Indigenous communications and new media research is a niche which is extremely relevant in a media-reliant time. It is also considerably under researched within the whole of communications research, prompting creation and exploration within this field. The increased recognition of Indigenous peoples both off and online makes it reasonable to expect an increase in audiences’ cultural literacy. This study aims to measure cultural literacy among audiences interacting with online Indigenous arts. Through a literature review, this study was situated between the gap of existing research focusing on the construction of Indigenous Identity and Culture online as well as perception surrounding Indigenous culture and online art. This research was conducted with the goal of filling this gap between existing research by focusing on a narrow sample within the larger topic. This aims to remedy the lack of Indigenous communications and new media research by studying niches which have been previously generalized or overlooked. Studying the audience perception of online Anishinaabe artists, more specifically the level of cultural literacy within the comments, is certainly a niche yet to be thoroughly addressed. This paper’s research of the topic is conducted through a critical discourse analysis of the artists’ comment sections followed by the filtering of these findings through a definition for cultural literacy. This is done for the purpose of determining the compatibility of the discursive identity of the comments with cultural literacy, which produces our findings. Overall, this study found that the level of cultural literacy in the sample was healthy, explorative, and growing. Suggesting a shift to more positive views of Indigenous arts which serves as an important indicator of the greater state of Indigenous cultural literacy.
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