Media literacy as intergenerational project: skills, norms, and mediation

Special Issue of MediaEducation: Journal for Theory and Practice of Media Education. Edited by Claudia Riesmeyer, Thorsten Naab, Ruth Festl and Christine Dallmann. Please submit extended Abstracts of max. 1.000 words plus references until August 31st 2018 at: Please follow the author guidelines at Call for Papers as PDF


Today's information society is characterized by its permeation of multifunctional and ubiquitous media. Since a diverse set of media is most often habitually integrated in daily routines, media literacy is an «important prerequisite» to deal with media risks and opportunities (UNESCO 2016). Even more, media literacy has become a key competence for societal, political, and civic engagement and participation in the 21st century (Hobbs 2011; Erstad and Amdam 2013). Its acquirement is most often discussed as a long-term process during life cycle (Potter 2010), since individuals need to adjust their media literacy to media changes and also to the main challenges of the developmental tasks during the different stages of their lives (Pfaff-Rüdiger, Riesmeyer, and Kümpel 2012) and the turning points of their biographies. Furthermore, the socialization regarding media literacy is shaped by diverse socialization agents, i.e. parents, teachers, peers, and the individual itself (Hobbs 2011).

However, research on media generations demonstrates that living in different media environments and corresponding socializing environment leads to diverse media experiences (Naab and Schwarzenegger 2017) and therefore highly individual sets of media literacy with «differing levels and uses of literacy competencies according to [...] environments, needs, and available resources» (UNESCO 2016). The idea of an entanglement of media changes, lifelong acquirement of media literacy, and exchange processes between media generations is at the core of our preconference. With the Special Issue, we aim at:

  1. Answering the following research questions (with theoretical and/or empirical focus): Which generation possesses which media literacy skills and norms for media use? Who and which circumstances mediate media literacy at which turning point in life cycle? How could media literacy be characterized as intergenerational project, since changing media use and media access induce the connection of different generations (and socialization agents) and also promotes reverse socialization (e.g. from children to parents)?
  2. Bringing together international scholars that study media literacy and implications of its conceptualization as intergenerational project.
Submissions should address the following aspects:
  • media generation specific media literacy skills and norms,
  • normative, social, political, and civic implications of (missing) media literacy,
  • mediation (and reverse mediation) of media literacy and influencing factors,
  • inter- and transgenerational exchange of media literacy and media practices,
  • influences of turning points within media biographies and media generations.



Please submit extended Abstracts of max. 1.000 words plus references electronically and according to the author guidelines until August 31st 2018 at:

Based on these abstracts, invitations for full paper submissions will sent out by mid of September. Full Paper submissions will be due by November 30 2018. They will be proofed in double-blind peer reviews. Final decisions will be sent out in early 2019.

Contributions should be original and should not be under consideration elsewhere. The total character count must be under 40.000 characters (including spaces, without abstract, and without references). A narrative abstract of 150–200 words briefly describes the main issues, significant results and conclusions. Contributions must be submitted with an English and German title and abstract.



If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the editors of the Special Issue: Claudia Riesmeyer (, Thorsten Naab (, Ruth Festl ( or Christine Dallmann (