I would like to explore the concept of of language barriers and their effects within society.  In my website, I will explore the idea of language barriers, how these barriers affect communication and relationships within society, and who is most likely to be affected by these barriers. I have personally experienced language barriers and culture shock, and I hope that my website will encourage others to avoid these cultural differences through the methods and approaches I have suggested. In some cases, the age of digital media makes this need to communicate with each other even more essential because we are able to communicate with individuals across the globe, many of whom speak different languages and live in different cultures, through the Internet – something that we would not be able to do with the resources and technology that we have today. For my participatory documentary project, I would like to demonstrate how people say the same thing in different languages – for example, the different ways to say “hello” in various languages.

“Gamification and Post-Fordist Capitalism”

 

Excerpts:

  • “Post-Fordism has undermined both theoretical positions. On the one hand, it offers the promise that fun activity can be productive. If this is true, fun no longerhasthesameopportunitycoststhatitappeared to have in previous epochs. On the other hand, it promises that labor will be less alienating, so that consuming fun things does not, necessarily, require us to act against our own best interests in avoiding toil. Both the critical and the conservative positions ofthe Fordist era took for granted binary distinctions between work and play, labor and consumption” (Rey 281).
  • “In the economic sphere ofconsumption, gamification is a strategy to channel our attention and activity toward advertisements or commodities that will, ultimately, generate revenue for the capitalists who engineer the gamification. However, gamification does not alter the fundamental character of a com- modity; it works at a representational level. In the context of consumption, gamification can be under- stood as a process that transforms commodities into what Jean Baudrillard called hypercommodities” (Rey 282).
  • Gamification transforms commodities into hyper- commodities both by assigning new signifiers to a commodity and by redefining the purpose for which a commodity is consumed. We can see how this process plays out by examining, for example, the Monopoly game featured annually in McDonald’s fast-food restaurants. By attaching game pieces to each meal item, McDonald’s signifies food with a symbolic reward that can be be accumulated. Each item consumed is a play made in the game-another tile earned. This “added value” is meant to incentiv- ize consumption at McDonald’s in lieu of other food options” (Rey 282).

Notes:

  • Gamification is the application of game-design elements and principles in non-game contexts
  • Gamification’s appeal is its ability to create economic benefits
  • “ Advertising invents social needs and promotes a particular commodity as having the qualities necessary to fulfill that need.. but gamification of consumption completely negates any intrinsic value and meaning o the commodity.”
  • Gamification can lead to disenchantments
  • Thoughts: While considering gamification, I thought about what other examples of gamification exist in the real world. For instance, an app on an iPhone or a tablet may educate a child; similarly, devices in cars that have gamification qualities can help to track environmental impacts.

Questions to Consider:

  • What are some other examples of gamification in the real world?
  • What is the difference between gamification and standard advertising?

Citations:

Rey, PJ. GAMIFICATION AND POST- FORDIST CAPITALISM (n.d.): n. pag. Web.

“Tactical Performance” Pages 1-35

Excerpts: 

  • “Social conflict is not chess. It is far messier; more complex, fluid, and confusing. The game is never over and there is never a final victor. The rules and boundaries of the board are ever-shifting. There are not even two sides.” (3) 
  • “A group of African-American, wearing suits and dresses, some carrying books, and joined sometimes by white allies, sit at a segregated lunch counter, quietly requesting service and thus breaking the racist law. They are told to leave and perhaps insulted, but they quietly sit, some reading” (7).
  • “Critical Art Ensemble (CAE) is a group of radical theorist-artists who bridge the gap between the art world and social movements adroitly, while engaging the public with a radical critique of biotechnology, militarization, neocolonialism, and hypercapitalism” (20).

Notes: 

  • Tactical performance: “the use of performance techniques, tactics, and aesthetics in social-movement campaigns”
  • Examples of tactical performance: the American civil rights movement, ACT-UP, Critical Art Ensemble, etc.

 

“Tactical Performance” Pages 36-67

 

Excerpts:

  • “[The Enmedio Collective of Barcelona] inflated huge silvery balloons and floated them in the streets between the riot police and protesters. These reflective cubes… added an element of fun and wonder to the confrontation. They were also a harmless and aesthetically pleasing way to absorb the shock of police baton charges, filling up the space so that it was harder for the police to attack” (Bogad 37).
  • “It is vital as a tactical player to anticipate the response of your opponent and incorporate that response into your action in order to achieve maximum effect” (Bogad 43).
  • “Sometimes it is crucial to occupy a public space – town square, public building, or campus – to call attention to the problem at hand by preventing business as usual, and making an unconscionable situation visible to those who are not aware” (Bogad 51).

Notes:

  • Tactics are not the same as strategies
  • Tactics involve strategic timing

Thoughts: My favorite section of this reading was about the balloons from the Enmedio Collective of Barcelona because I felt that the purpose of the balloons was not only to provide a visual aesthetic, but also to prevent violent outbreaks. Because of instances such as this one, I believe that tactical performances have the potential to be extremely effective methods of conveying social and political beliefs.

Questions to Consider:

  • What are some other examples of tactical performances that have occurred throughout history?
  • What is it about tactical performances that makes them so effective?

Citations:

Bogad, L. M. Tactical Performance: The Theory and Practice of Serious Play. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

“Twitter and Democracy: A New Public Sphere?” (Fuchs Ch. 8)

 

Excerpts:

  • “Twitter revolution claims imply that Twitter constitutes a new public sphere of political communication that has emancipatory political potentials” (Fuchs 180).
  • “In 2009, only 7% of the top Twitter trend topics were political topics and 38% were entertainment-oriented topics” (Fuchs 190).
  • “When one searches on Twitter for content or a hashtag, current tweets, people results/accounts and worldwide Twitter trends are displayed. Twitter’s advertisint strategy manipulates the selection of Twitter search results, displayed accounts and trends” (Fuchs 198).

Notes:

  • Blog: features periodic postings in which newest postings are shown first
  • Microblog: similar to a blog, one shares short messages with the public and a contact list of those following these messages
  • Working-class critique and feminist critique of the public sphere concept
  • Communication and interactivity of political uses for Twitter: WikiLeaks and the Egyptian Revolution

Thoughts: The idea of Haberma’s public sphere, which is a space for political communications, led me to consider how social media alters politics. More people have the opportunity to be involved with politics due to the growth of digital media; however, their thoughts are also more likely to be altered by the opinion of others and the way in which social media outlets, such as Twitter, rank what individuals are likely to see when they search for a particular person or topic.

Questions to Consider:

  • How have Twitter trends influenced politics?
  • Why do you think that only 7 percent of the top Twitter trends were political topics, while 38 percent were entertainment topics?

Citations:

Fuchs, Christian. Social Media: A Critical Introduction. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

“The Participatory Documentary Cookbook” (1-42)

 

Excerpts:

  • “A participatory documentary tells a story about a community using the community’s own words. That story is disseminated back to that community via social media” (Weight 4).
  • “Convergence is the very complex set of factors which go to make up the media environment we currently enjoy. I can’t go into a
    proper definition here, but as a pro- ducer, you need to be aware that all your decisions are interconnected. Conceiving your idea has ramifica- tions for how you
    will distribute it … and all the stages in between” (Weight 18).
  • “The types of media created for a participatory documentary are only lim- ited by the skill of the producer and the social media tools that the com- munity uses (Weight 42).

Notes:

  • indigo-participatory documentary entirely produced by the members of the community
  • externo-participatory documentary in which a profes- sional documentary producer facilitates the production
  • reflex-participatory documentary, when the producer is part of the community

 

(43-100)

 

Notes:

  • There are different methods of creating documentaries
  • “All the little tools and apps floating about give you so many options — so long as you use them judiciously (ie, you don’t want gizmos to get in the way of your story), stick to your aesthetic (just iterate a couple of cool effects rather than use everything you find), and keep to your schedule” (Weight 83)
  • Remember your colour symbolism. If you are unsure about a colour scheme, copy a colour scheme from another websites. Remember to keep colour contrasts strong when text is important (Weight 86)

 

  • Filmmakers collaborate with their social subjects (Nichols, 118). The filmmaker may be like an investigative reporter (Nichols, 119) or might establish ‘a more re- sponsive and reflective relationship to unfolding events that involve the filmmaker. This latter choice moves us toward the diary and personal testimonial. The first- person voice becomes prominent in the structure of the film…” (Nichols, 119) Con- sider how diary-like much social media is. Social media does indeed seem to be the perfect vehicle for such documentaries (Weight 89)

Thoughts: As a Media Studies major, I have taken an Introduction to Film course at Emory. Many of the ideas and advice that Wright discussed in relation to participatory documentaries related to the concepts that I learned in the film class, so it is interesting to see how digital media concepts and formats overlap with each other.

Questions to Consider:

  • What are some tips for creating a participatory documentary?
  • What makes a participatory documentary effective with its audience?

Citations:

Weight, Jenny. “The Participatory Documentary Cookbook.” (2008): n. pag. Web.

Excerpts:

  • “When I exited the T-station in downtown Boston on the day of global actions in support of #Occupy Wall Street and the burgeoning #Occupy Everywhere movements,1 I imme- diately accessed my Twitter account. The latest tweets displayed on my Android phone indicated a large group of protesters was on its way from the #Occupy Boston camp at Dewey Square and would soon turn a nearby corner” (Juris 2).
  • “Social media such as Facebook, YouTube, and espe- cially Twitter were particularly important during #Occupy’s initial mobilization phase, although networking logics have become more salient since the evictions of the largest camps around the United States from mid-November to early December 2011. This shift toward less publicly visi- ble forms of organizing and networking outside centralized physical spaces may help to ensure the staying power of #Occupy—a significant challenge given the vulnerability of the #Occupy movements to disaggregation in the absence of longer-term network structures. A foundation is thus being laid for a struggle that is potentially more sustainable, tac- tically diverse, and strategically flexible, although this out- come is by no means assured” (Juris 4).
  • “As I have argued, rather than generating organizational networks, social media primarily operate via interpersonal networks, resulting less in “networks of networks” than in ‘crowds of individuals.’” (Juris 15).

Notes:

  • Digital media has a large role in social movements
  • Social media, particularly, is an important factor in the way that digital media alters social movements

Thoughts: Though I am aware of social media’s ability to connect large groups of people from around the world, it is interesting to me to observe how social media can also bring people together for a common social or political cause. In this case, the #Occupy movement brought individuals together for a common social cause.

Questions to Consider:

  • What other social or political movements are linked to social media?
  • Without social media, how would the #Occupy movement have gone differently?

Citations:

Juris, Jeffrey S. “Reflections on #Occupy Everywhere.” N.p., n.d. Web.

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“Social Media as Participatory Culture” (Fuchs Ch.3)

 

Excerpts:

  • “For Jenkins, participation means that humans meet on the net, form collectives, create and share content. He has a culturalistic understanding of participation and ignores the notion of participatory democracy, a term which has political, political economic, and cultural dimensions” (Fuchs 55).
  • “Social media culture is a culture industry. Jenkins’ notion of ‘participatory culture’ is mainly about expressions, engagement, creation, sharing, experience, contributions and feelings and not so much about how these practices are enable by and antagonistically entangled into capital accumulation” (Fuchs 57).
  • “Jenkins argues that participatory culture advances cultural diversity… but overlooks that not all voices have the same power and that produced content and voices are frequently marginalized because visibility is a central resource in contemporary culture that powerful actors, such as media corporations, can buy” (Fuchs 60).

Notes:

  • “Participatory culture is a term that is often used for designating the involvement of users, audiences, consumers and fans in the creation of culture and content” (Fuchs 52).
  • Some believe that social media hinders participatory culture because there is “one sender and many recipients”

Thoughts: The article introduced me to the idea that social media links individuals from all around the world, helping to advance participatory culture. However, it also suggested the idea that it hinders participatory culture because not all individuals have equal access to social media outlets and other digital media devices.

Questions to Consider:

  • How has social media both hindered and advanced the idea of participatory culture?
  • Which social media outlets, in particular, relate to the idea of participatory culture?

Citations:

Fuchs, Christian. Social Media: A Critical Introduction. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

Excerpts:

                  “The Wachowski brothers played the transmedia game very well, putting out the original film first to stimulate interest, offering up a few Web comics to sustain the hard-core fan’s hunger for more information, launching the anime in anticipation of the second film, releasing the computer game alongside it to surf the publicity, bringing the whole cycle to a conclusion” (Jenkins 95).

                  “Reading across the media sustains a depth of experience that motivates more consumption. Redundancy burns up fan interest and causes franchises to fail,” (Jenkins 96).

                  “Media conglomeration provided a context for the Wachowski brothers’ aesthetic experiment – they wanted to play with a new kind of storytelling and use Warner Bros.’s blockbuster promotion to open it to the largest possible public” (Jenkins 108).

 

Notes:

                  Use different forms of media to be more effective

                  The Wachowski brothers are a great example of this

 

Thoughts: I was especially interested in this chapter because I have heard of the Wachowski brothers and their success before, and this chapter informed me how they became so successful.

 

Questions to Consider:

                  How else can one stir up and stimulate interest transmedia?

                  What are other specific, real-world examples that are similar to that of the Wachowski brothers and their influence in the transmedia world?

 

Citations: Jenkins, Henry. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: New York UP, 2006. Print.

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“Free Culture”

 

Excerpts:

  • Today we are in the middle of another “war” against “piracy.” The Internet has provoked this war. The Internet makes possible the effi- cient spread of content. Peer-to-peer (p2p) file sharing is among the most efficient of the efficient technologies the Internet enables. Using distributed intelligence, p2p systems facilitate the easy spread of con- tent in a way unimagined a generation ago (Lessig 17).

Notes:

  • In all of these cases, Disney (or Disney, Inc.) ripped creativity from the culture around him, mixed that creativity with his own extraordinary talent, and then burned that mix into the soul of his culture. Rip, mix, and burn. This is a kind of creativity. It is a creativity that we should remem- ber and celebrate. There are some who would say that there is no cre- ativity except this kind. We don’t need to go that far to recognize its importance. We could call this “Disney creativity,” though that would be a bit misleading. It is, more precisely, “Walt Disney creativity”—a form of expression and genius (Lessig 23).
  • We live in a world that celebrates “property.” I am one of those cel- ebrants. I believe in the value of property in general, and I also believe in the value of that weird form of property that lawyers diverse, and modern society cannot flourish without intellectual property (Lessig 28).
  • Piracy: making copies and disposing of them for his or her own use
  • The law’s role is less to support creativity and more to protect industries against competition
  • When copyright ends, a work becomes part of the public domain
  • Some change Japanese manga comics by changing them only slightly, but copying the main ideas
  • Some believe that creativity is dependent upon building on what has already been created, but is this legal?

Thoughts: As I have grown older, I have seen copyright and piracy policies grow more important and controversial. It makes sense that such laws would become more prominent as digital media grows in popularity and makes it easier to access the writings, videos, and photographs of others.

Questions to Consider:

  • How have piracy laws changed as digital media has become a more prominent part of our everyday lives?
  • Why is it important to have copyright laws as digital media grows more popular?

Citations:

Lessig, Lawrence. Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock down Culture and Control Creativity. New York: Penguin, 2004. Print.

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“Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace”

 

Excerpts:

  • “On this day in 1996, Barlow sat down in front of a clunky Apple laptop and typed out one very controversial email, now known as the “Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace,” a manifesto with a simple message: Governments don’t—and can’t—govern the Internet. ‘Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind,; read the document’s first words. ‘On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather’” (Greenberg).
  • “In a speech in 2013, Google general counsel David Drummond contrasted the reality of governments’ Internet filtering, censorship and surveillance with Barlow’s declaration. ‘Like the Spice Girls, that idea was right for its time, but I think it needs to be updated to fit the world we’re in now,’ he told a Google Ideas conference audience. ‘Governments have learned in what might be the steepest learning curve in history that they can shape this global phenomenon called the Internet and in ways that often go beyond what they can do in the physical world, and they’re doing so at an alarming pace’” (Greenberg).
  • “Barlow points to unlikely examples, including WikiLeaks and the online black market Silk Road, as illustrations of the government’s inability to control the Internet long term: Yes, Julian Assange may be confined to the Ecuadorian embassy, but WikiLeaks lives on and has inspired dozens of media organizations to adopt its methods through tools like the SecureDrop anonymous upload system. Sure, Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht was caught by the FBI and sentenced to life in prison, but new Silk-Road-style markets have replaced it and continue to generate close to $100 million a year in illicit online drug sales” (Greenberg).

Notes:

  • John Perry Barlow does not want governments to control the Internet
  • NSA surveillance of the Internet and China’s Great Firewall

Thoughts:

When I visited Atlanta’s National Center for Civil and Human Rights, I saw an exhibit about China’s Great Firewall. Since then, I have always considered how governments can influence what others see on the Internet; this control can alter how we think and act by limiting and controlling the information that we have access to.

Questions to Consider:

  • Why do governments want to control the Internet?
  • What effects can government control of the Internet have on others?

Citations:

Greenberg, Andy. “It’s Been 20 Years Since This Man Declared Cyberspace Independence.” Wired.com. Conde Nast Digital, n.d. Web. 09 Sept. 2016.

Excerpts:

  • “Social theory is the systematic development and connection of concepts with which to gasp social life, with identifying patterns in social relations and social action, with producing explanations for both specific features of life in society and changes in overall forms of society… It is an endeavor to understand events, institutions and trends in society” (Fuchs 71).
  • “Relationships of love, intimacy and affection are in modern society unfortunately often characterized by violence and coercion and are therefore frequently (in Castells’ terms) power relationships” (Fuchs 73).
  • “The systematic typology of media power that is based on Curran’s approach shows that modern media can best be viewed dialectically: they are subject to elite control, but have potentials for acting as, and being influenced by, counter means that it does not automatically arise” (Fuchs 80).

Notes:

  • People define power in different ways; some believe that power is not necessarily coercive or violent
  • Castell believes there is a conflict between business networks that use the internet and the “creative audience” that establishes control over communicative freedom through the Internet
  • Different types of power, according to John B. Thompson: economic, political, coercive, symbolic

Thoughts: After reading this article, I realized that my view of power has been very one-sided. Like Fuchs described, most people believe that power is generally considered to be solely violent and coercive; however, there are other forms of power as well. These forms exist in the media without the world always realizing it.

Questions to Consider:

  • What do you consider to be the definition of power?
  • How are media and power interrelated?

Citations:

Fuchs, Christian. Social Media: A Critical Introduction. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.