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“Give me space!”: Situated video production and high school social relations

, City University of New York, United States

City University of New York . Awarded


Video production programs from three high schools are investigated to explore how the social and material contexts influence video production activity. Video cameras are examined as tools that mediate social relations. The methods include an ethnography of three courses from each of the three schools and a new use of student-made videos to display student activity. The schools are referred to as Suburban, Urban, and Boarding Highs and are diverse in terms of their populations, program orientations, and resources. Student-school relationships are defined in terms of program structure, school environments, and student participation. Substantial and persistent differences between schools are discussed. The criteria for assessing development in video communication are proposed and applied to the work of three groups of students. A range of characteristics are considered to allow for the diversity of production activity: The clarity of a message, coherence, agency, technological proficiency, aesthetics, and self-expression. The relations between these qualities emerged as meaningful criteria. A new analysis of student-school relationships is then pursued with an examination of the choices students made during video production. At a microanalytic level, the choices of location, placement within those locations, and camera techniques are investigated, and their implications are discussed in reference to a selection of projects. Student development is considered in terms of the student-school relationships as revealed in their video work. Student-made video projects are found to yield information about student-school relations that is consistent with observations but more detailed and student specific. These details and the broader observations reveal a dynamic and meaningful relationship between contexts and students at all levels of activity. The implications for video production courses and education more generally are discussed. A DVD is included that contains an electronic version of this document in “html” and “pdf” formats as well as student-made videos in Quicktime format and still images, which are in color, in Portable Network Graphics files.


Beaty, L.M. “Give me space!”: Situated video production and high school social relations. Ph.D. thesis, City University of New York. Retrieved August 2, 2021 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

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