Questions of knowledge in Australian media education
Sage Publications Inc.
Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
School of Communications and Multimedia
This article draws on the work of Foucault to construct a history of the invention and introduction of media studies in the Australian context through the analysis of two of its epistemological regimes: audience studies and media production. In so doing, it challenges contemporary assumptions about the subject's foundations, purposes, and achievements, most significant the belief that the story of media education is a story of seamless progress marked by the movement from a protectionist philosophy to one that approaches the media as a representational system. Questioning the normative, taken-for-granted history and conduct of a school subject does not necessarily mean that a subject will, or should, be changed. However, there exists at least the opportunity to bring about change when current practices can be located and understood in terms of historical contingency rather than the more common change and reform rhetoric of curriculum developers.