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Using Digital Literary Geographies to Improve Teenagers’ Spatial Knowledge

Authors: Mina Rezaei*, UCDavis
Topics: Geographic Thought, Qualitative Research, Social Geography
Keywords: Literary Geographies, Young People, Education,
Session Type: Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

According to the United Nations Convention on the Children's Rights (1989), children's voices must be heard and respected in all matters concerning their rights. The implications of the UN Convention on Children's Rights is that children must be included in planning and designing the environment and outdoor spaces. A growing body of research (Owens, 2001, Broberg, Kytta & Fagerholm, 2013) suggests that the physical environment influences young people's wellbeing, educational achievement, and social and personal development. These studies have pinpointed the need for young people's participation in planning and designing their communities. Still, they mainly have focused on the political or administrative obstacles against youth civic engagement, and barely addressed Why youth lack of enough knowledge.
This research focuses on employing literary geographies to raise teenagers' geographical knowledge.
Digital literary geographies is an emerging strand within the field of literary geographies which generally uses geospatial technologies to map out the representation of space, place, and landscape in the media (Cooper, 2017). Digital literary geographies allow planners to incorporate narratives of teenagers' lived experiences as represented in cultural media such as films and novels. These interactive maps allow teenagers to deepen their understanding of the world, and accordingly help planners to raise their knowledge about cultural representations of teenagers' preferences which consequently can help them to create more teenagers friendly communities.
Research Question
The research asks how cultural products such as films and novels can mediate geographical concepts to teenagers and raise their spatial knowledge in the US context.

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