Poverty Porn

“Pregnant junkies giving up all drugs and only smoking a few bongs a day… amusing…right?”

“Poverty Porn” is the movement that refers to a westerner’s representation of global inequity through the presentation of “disadvantaged by the advantaged” (Threadgold, 2015). Comparing this ideology to the mainstream industry of sexual porn proves a major similarity. Sexual porn objectifies images of men and women for sexual gratification and poverty porn objectifies images of the poor for privileged gratification. The 2015 program Struggle Street is a prime example of poverty porn, and how characters can be exploited without the underlying purpose or intention to create awareness and assistance.

The biggest issue with programs such as Struggle Street is producers are turning what is supposed to be considered a documentary into what is best described as a reality TV program. The program is being made into a form of entertainment rather than an informative platform to give other members of society the knowledge of how the other half may live. It was reported that the series is guilty of exploiting the countries most vulnerable (Galvin, 2016). Struggle Street appears to blame the poor for their poverty (Threadgold, 2015), rather than show the extenuating circumstances of how the characters came to be in such positions, nor ways of how viewers may assist in changing their lives for the good. Another major issue with the program is it is only focusing on extreme cases of poverty within Australia and abusing certain members of society to make the entire area seem it is full of the same walks of people. The program neglects to present the other members of the underprivileged society who may be more common, working 24/7 to put food on the table or provide their children with the very best they can afford. The voice over for the program comes across as almost condescending, once again highlighting the reality TV similarities.

The presentation of Struggle Street poses the question of is it encouraging the upper-class to take action and assist those living in poverty, or encourage them to take amusement in viewing how the other half live? On the contrary, there are shows such as Housewives of Melbourne that could be viewed as an exploitation of the upper-class where lower-class take amusement. It can therefore be assumed that it is totally subjective to both classes and considered right or wrong in the eye of the beholder. The program would have been more successful if it was produced in such a way that generated more of an educational perspective and showed ways how viewers could help the characters on the program, encouraging proactive attitudes as a result.

References:

Galvin, N. 2016. Struggle Street: life on the Dole is what real poverty porn looks like. [ONLINE] Available: <https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/598891/mod_resource/content/1/Lifeonthedole%20is%20what%20real%20poverty%20porn%20looks%20like%20.pdf> [Accessed 26 March 16].

Struggle Street. (2015). Australia: KEO Films

Threadgold, S. 2015. The Conversation: Struggle Street is poverty pornwith an exra dose of class racism. [ONLINE] Available at: <https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/598885/mod_resource/content/1/Struggle%20Street%20is%20poverty%20porn%20with%20an%20extra%20dose%20of%20class%20racism.pdf> [Accessed 26 March 16]

 

 

 

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Man in the Mirror

According to Charles Taylor a human identity is shaped by recognition, often by the misconception of others (Taylor, 1994). In todays 21st society online consumers use their presence to build any online status or persona they see fit, some may use online status as a reflection of their exact self and others may use it as an electronic veil of anonymity. Some may even find the reflection of themselves through online viewers leads them to not recognise the face staring back.

Status can be considered a fundamental part of life, and present in “virtually every human interaction” (Marwick, 2013). Online status can be measured through technical mechanisms that signal popularity such as the number of likes on Facebook, or followers on Twitter. Medical News Today reported from a 2012 study investigating and proposing that social media platforms such as Facebook may increase a person’s feeling of inadequacy (Paddock, 2012). This ideology is a depiction of human nature where it’s considered perfectly normal to be disheartened if a photo or post one uploads gets less likes or views than that of someone else. In this respect consumers can be unconsciously measuring themselves to others to find a sense of their online status and its worth. This links to the concept explored by Tiidenberg and Cruz, which states a number of consumers consider posting ‘selfies’ as self absorbed however “the relationship between subjectivity, practice, and social use of the images is more complex than this dismissal allows” (Tiidenberg and Cruz, 2015).

This leads to the opinion that convergent media practices such as social media have the power to affect its audiences in both positive and negative ways. Comparing ones self to another could lead to feeling copious amounts of jealousy and also risk the comparison of ones own online persona to their real life and seeing a mirror of inadequacy. It’s easily debated that the jealousy doesn’t exist in all cases but it’s near impossible to avoid when being constantly bombarded with images of delicious food, amazing holidays, and dream bodies… we’re only human. The use of social media in relation to status has altered the way in which consumers view both their lives and others creating clear emotional consequences, however it is up to the individual to either look into the mirror or turn the other way.

References:

Marwick , A, 2013. Status Update . Celebrity, Publicity, and Branding in the Social Media Age, [Online]. p. 74-75. Available at:<https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/598872/mod_resource/content/1/leadersandfollowers2.pdf>[Accessed 11 March 2016].
Taylor, C, 1994. Multiculturalism. The Politics of Recognition , [Online]. Available at:<http://elplandehiram.org/documentos/JoustingNYC/Politics_of_Recognition.pdf> [Accessed 11 March 2016].

Tiidenberg, K. Gomez Cruz, E. 2015. Body Society. Selfies, Image, and the Re-making of the Body , [Online]. 1, 78-82. Available at:<https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/607709/mod_resource/content/1/SelfiesImageandtheBody.pdf >[Accessed 11 March 2016].

 

 

Hollywood vs Nollywood

First there was Hollywood, then there was Bollywood, and now… we have Nollywood. Nollywood can be described as the “cinematic phenomenon” that originated in Lagos, Nigeria (Okome, 2007). Nigeria produces around 1000 films annually, positioning itself within the market ahead of Hollywood, however second to the biggest in the industry, Bollywood.

Nollywood’s production is on the other end of the spectrum compared to Hollywood. Hollywood’s average film budget is around $6.7 million, and has a production span of around 12 months. Nollywood on the other hand has a budget averaging between $7,500 to $13,000 and a production time of just 7 to 10 working days (Amos, 2015). This may seem like a disadvantage to Nollywood, however considering the Nigerian Economy it is extremely impressive that the industry entity managed to generate a total of $10 billion dollars revenue in 2013 (Tolchisky, 2015). Nollywood has also recently increased film budgets for films such as “Half a Yellow Sun” which set a new record of the most expensive Nigerian film with production costs valued at $8 million.

“Half a Yellow Sun” was the beginning of a Nigerian movement into the market of higher Hollywood quality films. This movement is allowing Nollywood to provide Nigeria with higher economic productivity and job stability as the demand for film furthers from a domestic level to an international level. There is a promising future for Nollywood as investment opportunities arise and the recent implementation of “IKROKOTV”, which can be described as the “Nigerian Netflix”, grows even more popular (Tolchisky, 2015).

Nollywood film gives audiences an insight into the impact of Nigerian culture, heritage, politics, and society. The Nigerian film industry has also assisted in improving the economy by developments such as using endorsements in the 2011 general election and work towards the removal of fuel subsidy (Onuzulike, 2012). Nollywood also has the power to portray Nigerian culture in its most raw form allowing the industry to preserve African culture and heritage despite globalization. For example Nollywood films use their indigenous languages throughout films and tell African stories. This can lead towards educating other cultures and creating a basis for furthered awareness of not only the heritage but also the hardships that Nigeria has faced.



It could be said that Nigerian film has more soul than Hollywood blockbusters. The film context is more of a realistic insight into culture and the filming only adds to this ideology as it is shot in its location of origin. The video below features individual Nigerians giving their opinion given the choice of Hollywood vs Nollywood. Although one man states it “isn’t comparable”, another states Nollywood is better as “it is ours”.

Nollywood films may lack the standards of Hollywood blockbusters however they are evidently worth more in culture than in dollars to members of the Nigerian society by statements in the Hollywood vs Nollywood clip. Nollywood is not only important to the Nigerian economy, but to globalization giving an insight an education of African culture on an international level.

References:

Amos, F. 2015. First Hollywood, then Bollywood, now Nollywood!. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.one.org/us/2015/06/15/first-hollywood-then-bollywood-now-nollywood/>. [Accessed 01 September 15].

Okome, O (2007). ‘Nollywood: spectatorship, audience and the sites of consumption’ Postcolonial Text, 3.2, pp. 1-21.

Onuzulike, U. 2012. Nigeria: Nollywood as a positive tool for African transformation. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.consultancyafrica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=970:nigeria-nollywood-as-a-positive-tool-for-african-transformation&catid=90:optimistic-africa&Itemid=295>. [Accessed 01 September 15].

Tolchinsky, M. 2015. Nigeria’s Nollywood is putting Hollywood to shame. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://globalriskinsights.com/2015/01/nigerias-nollywood-putting-hollywood-shame/.> [Accessed 30 August 15].

Ethnocentrism and Australia

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 8.46.49 PM(http://contextualliving.blogspot.com.au/2011/05/is-it-ethnocentric-to-claim-that.html)

Ethnocentrism refers to the judgment of another culture based solely on the standards of ones own culture. It is an ideology “commonly used where matters of ethnicity, inter-ethnic relations, and social issues are of any concern” (Barger, 2014). Issues involving ethnocentric behavior generally arise where individuals or groups believe their on culture is superior to others. An example of Ethnocentrism within Australia is after the arrival of European settlers in 1788 (Burgmann, 2003). I believe the Aboriginal culture was made weak during the evolution of Australia and due to the oppression of the Australian Government Australian citizens turned a blind eye to those they were sharing their habitat and home with.
“We all grow up with too little knowledge of the Aboriginal Story. With a few myths for comfort we have turned from the pain which Aborigines have borne, seeing little of the silent erosion of independence and the surrender of character-forming institutions of great antiquity” (Spalding, 1965)

This addresses the main issues involved with ethnocentric behavior where individuals or groups are not open minded or tolerant of other cultures. According to Ken Barger some people aren’t aware they are being ethnocentric … “we don’t understand that we don’t understand”. For example the English language can be “attributed to the growth of Australian Nationalism within the umbrella of the British Empire” (Kell and Vogl, 2006), as it was compulsory for schools to teach with the English language causing the indigenous language to become almost “extinct”.

The Australian culture has changed its past ways in today’s 21st century with the power of multiculturalism. Australians began to realize that knowledge of Indigenous culture is a fundamental right to improving both Aboriginal well-being and persevering heritage, and also the improvement of socioeconomic development. I believe Australia turned it’s Ethnocentric behavior around when the “International Convention to Eradicate all forms of Racial Discrimination” (aph.gov, 2015) was sign allowing Aboriginal policy to proceed towards self government which in turn lead towards multiculturalism. Today Indigenous culture is taught within schools across the globe in order to evenly educate all citizens in the history that was once ignored. Aboriginals are now also offered the same opportunities as all Australians and compensated for the wrong doings of the original European settlers. I believe Australians are being well educated in the multiculturalism of Indigenous people and this is broadening the horizons of education of other cultures being merged into the great country we live in.
References:

Barger, K. 2014. What is it? Why are people ethnocentric? What is the problem? What can we do about it? . [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.iupui.edu/~anthkb/ethnocen.htm>. [Accessed 25 August 15].

Beswick, D.G, et al, 1972. Ethnocentrism . A Survey of Ethnocentrism in Australia, [Online]. 24/2, 153-155. Available at: <http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00049537208255799#preview> [Accessed 25 August 2015].
Burgmann,V. The Aboriginal movement in power, profit and protest: Australian social movements and globilisation, Allen & Unwin, 2003, Chapter 2, pp.44-97 [ISBN 1741140161]

Parliament of Australia. 2015. Multiculturalism: a review of Australian policy statements and recent debates in Australia and overseas. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/rp1011/11rp06>. [Accessed 25 August 15].

Spalding, I. (1965) No Genteel Silence. Crux, 63, p. 2-3. The Journal of the Australian Student Christian Movement

Over Sharing Culture

Globalisation can be briefly described as the international integration that comes from the various characteristics of culture. Interactions between cultures were once considered to be restricted by means of geography or ecology (Appadurai, A. 1996), however in todays society the media has managed to push the boundaries of traditional globalisation where a global community openly sharing culture exists. The most predominant issue with this in my opinion however, is the “over share” of culture. An over share of culture can lead to messages through media becoming offensive, exhibited by Katy Perry when she dressed as a Geisha for one of her music performances (Larkin, M. 2013). Members of the Geisha community were highly offended by their culture being linked with the ideas portrayed within the pop stars music.

The issue that arises from the over share concept in globalisation is the tension between homogenisation and heterogenisation. Homogenisations greatest argument is the “americanization” of cultures through globalisation. America has an ever-increasing amount of influence over other cultures with its cuisine, technology, etc. The American, or western, culture is becoming internationally dominant, proven by the fast food giant McDonalds making its way into countries such as Egypt where previously it would have never been accepted into their traditional cuisine. This ideology also links to Heterogenisation, which can be described as the fragmentation of cultural identities.

This weeks topic of globalisation through the platform of media hit home for me as I have travelled to countries that have almost the opposite culture of my own Australian heritage, making cultural differences seem even more apparent. The theory of globalisation through media and the ideas it portrays made cultural controversy commonly seen through media such as the 2013 Mountain Dew advertisement argument.

After the release of the 2013 Mountain Dew advertisement, created by the company’s co-founder critics labelled it the “most racist ad in commercial history” (Anthony, K. 2013). The ad, or more accurately mediascape, portrayed a beaten woman pointing out her abuser in a police line up of only black men and a goat. The ad painted black men in a highly negative light and reflected an appropriate racist label on the soft drink company. As a marketing student I can make the connection between both the terrible marketing decisions made and the globalisation consequences this would have had. This example is an instance of global media changing the connotations of culture and taking it out of context to become offensive.

Globalisation has much positive potential in today’s society creating a platform through media for cultures to communicate and share with one other, however I believe there needs to be more care taken to avoid further international and interracial tension.

Check out the Mountain Dew advertisement at: 

References

Appadurai, A (1996) ‘Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy’, Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization, Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 27-47.

Global Education. 2015. Globalisation. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.globaleducation.edu.au/global-issues/gi-globalisation.html>. [Accessed 11 August 15].

K, Anthony. 2013. Not Cool: 10 Brands & Companies Accused Of Racial Profiling (LIST). [ONLINE] Available at: <http://globalgrind.com/2013/11/18/brands-companies-accused-of-racial-profiling-list/>. [Accessed 11 August 15].

M, Larkin. 2013. Katy Perry accused of racism after dressing as a geisha at the AMAs Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2513107/Katy-Perry-accused-racism-dressing-geisha-AMAs [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2513107/Katy-Perry-accused-racism-dressing-geisha-AMAs.html>. [Accessed 11 August 15].

Boosting the Sales of Leather Jackets

“Social media technologies let people connect by creating and sharing content” (Marwick and Boyd, 2011). Everyone a part of the social media phenomena takes their online persona quite seriously. Consumers build up their online persona to showcase to other users how they want to be perceived by the public. It is even possible for consumers to change their real life persona online to how they really want to be seen by others, or ever use it as an outlet. For example someone might have an online blog all about “Star Wars”, however in real life they tell everyone how much they love “Legally Blonde”. This is an example of a presentational media paradigm, how one might want to present themselves to others online and how they manage relationships with the digital objects they engage with. The theory of presentational media paradigm also includes what backgrounds/layouts consumers select, the language they use, and the images they upload in order to clearly present not only themselves but what they believe should be a part of their popular media expression.

The representational media paradigm on the other hand expresses how one is represented online giving others someone/something to look up to. Celebrities are the perfect example of representational media paradigm properties as they are constantly within the public eye and set standards for what consumers are involved within in social media (eg: who they are re-tweeting, liking, commenting on). Celebrity can be conceptualized as a practice through platforms such as twitter as celebrities select what appears on their online persona creating a relationship or sense of intimacy with consumers. Celebrities encourage consumers to look up to their persona by participating with followers, acknowledging fans and making direct connections. Another example of this, going back a few years when James Dean was made famous through platforms of media the sale of leather jackets and cigarettes boosted as a result of how the character was represented within the media and how consumers aspired to copy their celebrity status. “Networked media is changing celebrity culture” (Markwick and Boyd, 2011) as consumers are now empowered through social media to which celebrities they favour and opens the doors to which they publically criticize.

References:

Marwick, A. Boyd, D. 2011. To See And To Be Seen. Celebrity Practice On Twitter, [Online]. 1, 40-43. Available at: <https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/370596/mod_resource/content/1/Celebrity%20Practice%20on%20twitter.pdf> [Accessed 12 May 2015].

The World is Technologies Oyster

pingu

(http://hero.wikia.com/wiki/Pingu)

This week i created a Sound Cloud pod cast, full script is found below:

https://soundcloud.com/dk395/20150519-171606

This weeks topic, after much deliberation on what all the content actually meant, took me on a journey back to my childhood with the idea of digital crafting and transformation, the one example that came straight to mind was the infamous Pingu.

Digital crafting is the idea that life can be given to an inanimate object through digital technology. Pingu is the perfect example of this as it is the concept of stop motion that brings the clay penguin to life on consumers television screens. It could be said that Pingu began the introduction and stepping stones into advanced digital crafting.

Another major example of digital crafting is 3D printing. Looking back through time, years ago if a consumer wanted a piece of furniture they had to go through the process of finding a craftsmen to produce it for them. The industrial revolution then rolled around and machines took over the handy work. Today it is now possible with such advanced technology that pieces can be physically printed. Joong Han Lee debates that craftsmanship no longer simply means “hands on craft” however it means moving forward and evolving with technology to fi

nd a new way of creating. 3D printing is such an important commodity for sustaining technology within the future. If digital craftsmanship continues, who knows what can be created in the future, the world is technologies oyster.

References:

Micheal, J. 2008. Making Pingu Animation . [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~ef4m-tkn/study/study1.html> [Accessed 10 May 15].
Stinson, L. 2012. Digital Crafting. [ONLINE] Available at: <https://www.prote.in/en/briefings/digital-craft> [Accessed 10 May 15].

Great Online Works

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 10.36.23 PM

(Original)

Citizen journalism can be described as individuals providing information to the public in any form be it text, image, audio or video (journalismabout.com, 2015). Citizen journalism is all about communicating information, typically online as the internet has given public audiences the ability to post freely and have their voice heard. It could be thought that this new form of journalism is undermining journalism as a profession, however I believe the more information out there the better. Audiences have gone from being passive to producing their own content allowing others to form opinions on their writing and create beneficial debate.

Looking at this topic in a very easy light I feel the need to mention the collective intelligence of “Wookiepedia”. If audiences weren’t given the power to become citizen journalism we wouldn’t have great online works such as the wookiepedia system. As the name might suggest wookiepedia is a Wikipedia type website with the search engine only set to all things star wars.

See for yourselves!
http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page

References: 

About News. 2015. What is Citizen Journalism. [ONLINE] Available at:<http://journalism.about.com/od/citizenjournalism/a/whatiscitizen.htm>. [Accessed 01 May 15].

Even More $$$

This weeks topic of “Transmedia” and marketing a story to generate a larger audience is right up my ally being a marketing student, I always tend to see media in the light of how much money is being consumed across platforms (which is a lot of $$$ if you were wondering).

The first transmedia story I thought of was Lord of the Rings (coincidently my favourite movie series) which is a perfect example of how transmedia is creating opportunities in the industry. Lord of the Rings is easily a transmedia example as it is telling multiple stories across multiple mediums to make “one big pervasive story” (One3Productions, 2011). The Lord of the Rings story involves a book series, three major box office movies, board games, PC games, online blogs, etc creating a very real expectation of engagement from audiences. Where transmedia is concerned, engagement is the key.

The first opportunity Lord of the Rings creates is multiple entry points to the story world, with its multiple mediums listed above, capturing a range of markets beyond just the book worms and movie buffs (therefore more $$$). The second opportunity is monetizing marketing efforts creating several pay off possibilities with content flowing across multiple channels (and even more more $$$).

Hollywood is right on the money with recognizing the power transmedia has in the increasing digital age we live within, connecting with Henry Jenkins ideaology that “transmedia story telling is the ideal aesthetic form for an era of collective intelligence”.

References:

Henry Jenkins . 2007. Confessions of an Acca fan: Transmedia Story Telling 101. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html> [Accessed 21 April 15].

One 3 Productions. (2011). Transmedia101. [Online Video]. 24 June. Available from: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvJbY9hUgbc> [Accessed: 21 April 2015].

Threatening Media

Remix culture has increased within modern day society over the past few decades connecting with the ideology that audiences have been empowered and transformed from passive consumers to active members, and in this case creators. Remix culture in this instance threatens media and copyright “by the rise of user generated content” (Bruns, A. 2010). Empowered audiences can freely take any media content and remix it into something of their own creation, however they may not take into consideration the copyright laws attached to their actions. Alike the Harry Potter Blog scenario companies feel they have a right of ownership to remixed content. This poses the question that forms of media such as Youtube “vloggers” that comment on makeup and post tutorials on how to use it, does that mean the company owning the makeup should have a share of the Youtube earnings? Before attending this weeks lecture I’d only every considered remixes in terms of music or sound and not made the connection between other forms of media. I decided to be brave and try something new and create a meme to show my understanding of remixing media content and remix culture. meme remix
I’ve also discovered that remix culture can be used through not only multiple platforms but many devices as well, so i also had a crack at creating my first youtube video (on my roommates account) to illustrate remixing the same song through multiple youtube videos in one singular video:

Reference:  Bruns, A, 2010. Distributed Creativity. Filesharing and Produsage, [Online]. 1, 1-2. Available at:<http://snurb.info/files/2010/Distributed%20Creativity%20-%20Filesharing%20and%20Produsage.pdf>[Accessed 18 April 2015].