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This chapter primarily examines US legal writing on free speech that uses ideas of positive freedom. The examples show how positive dimensions of free speech can be argued for even where formal law is highly negative in approaching the freedom. The examples contain repeated calls for diverse public speech that, in some way, is promoted by government. They are aware that speech arises within existing practices of communication, practices that constrain as well as enable speech; the freedom involves dialogical, social or structural interests, not only individual ones; and government always affects opportunities for speech, not only when it directly restricts speech. While the examples link speech with democracy, many do not address any communicative preconditions to democracy, such as an architecture for speech inhering in the idea of democracy itself. However, some legal writing does address just such preconditions, providing a useful introduction to the next two chapters that consider examples of courts acting in support of positive free speech precisely because the freedom is understood to be a precondition of democracy.
This chapter explores the pervasive media environments that increasingly provide a context for development. It focuses on media access, exposure, and effects on developmental outcomes. The kinds of media available to children and youth are changing rapidly during the digital age. The point of entry for understanding the influence of this media environment on developmental outcomes is an assessment of the media available in children's homes. Children who grow up in the United States live in an environment saturated with electronic media. Uses and gratification theory, grounded in the field of communications, provides an important framework for understanding media use patterns by children as well as by adolescents and adults. When the kind of media exposure is examined, a positive picture of media exposure emerges for certain content. The challenge of the 21st century is for societies to accentuate the positive opportunities afforded by media while minimizing the negative ones.
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