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Professor Atay publishes new book about generational media and culture

Ahmet Atay, professor of communication studies and chair of global media and digital studies at The College of Wooster

Ahmet Atay, professor of communication studies and program chair of global media & digital studies at The College of Wooster, recently published Millennials and Gen Z in Media and Popular Culture. The publication is inspired by the rapidly changing media and visual culture around us and articulates the need for studying cultural artifacts (films, songs, paintings, fashion garments, cartoons, etc.) connected to members of the title generations.

This title is Atay’s fourth book collaboration with his co-editor, Mary Z. Ashlock, associate professor of communication at the University of Louisville. The pair wanted to focus on how Millennials and Gen Z are represented, as well as how they represent themselves. This newest publication takes an intergenerational approach, placing Millennials and Gen Z in dialogue with one another by focusing on media and experiences that are geared toward both.

“Gen Z, unlike the members of previous generations, was born into a highly mediated and digitalized culture,” said Atay. “Hence, they are not immigrants to this culture. They are natives. So, they interact with the culture and live it perhaps more differently than us. We wanted to capture some of this in this book by looking at how Gen Z and Millennials use media and consume popular culture texts.”

Atay and Ashlock have been interested in the concept of generations for some time now. The pair’s other titles include From Theory to Practice: Examining Millennials Reshaping Organizational Cultures (2018); Millennial Culture and Communication Pedagogies: Narratives from the Classroom and Higher Education (2018); and The Discourse of Disability in Communication Education: Narrative-Based Research for Social Change (2016). This newest book is an extension of earlier work on Millennials and media, with the inclusion of Gen Z and an expanded discussion of the research on generations.

“Unfortunately, we live in a culture that does not allow much intergenerational interactions or dialogue,” said Atay. “So, we wanted to make sure that we work on an edited book project where authors will bring ideas about generational gaps and find ways to bridge it through media.”

Wooster’s global media & digital studies (GMDS) major is about studying how traditional media, film, television, and digital media are produced and consumed globally, and Atay explained that this book embodies that mission in many ways. “Our students belong to Gen Z, and they surely inspired me to conceptualize this book because I was interested in what they watch, consume, and buy,” said Atay. “I can talk with them about their culture by using their language and examples.”

Posted in Faculty, News on September 15, 2023.


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