Follow the yellow brick road

The end of the road has nearly come, it is time to reflect on the teachings of BCM111. Through the numerous of weeks I have become more mindful of transnational media, looking at a number of topics which explore a number of topics like globalisation, education, hybridization,

communicating, influence of other countries, impact of Australia, hip hop culture, film industry, cultural translation and global topics like climate change.

I have learnt new terms within this subject like hybridization, false balance, glocalisation, ethnocapes, cosmopolitan, ideoscapes, financescapes, technoscapes and mediascapes. Applying these concepts to a number of examples which currently effect our society or which I can relate to.

Along this journey blog posting has become a weekly occurring thing, which has allowed me to reflect on what I have learnt and put forward my own perspective which has become a critical component of my learning.

I realise how important it is to be aware of international media and communication and this subject has definitely allowed me to open up to being cosmopolitan person.  The weekly topic that I really enjoyed was ‘hip hop’, the hip hop culture is definitely something that has been part of my life and I can relate to. The dancing side of hip hop and looking at the core foundations of where it started, in the Bronx to what it has now evolved to is astonishing and interesting. The interpretation of what is now known as ‘hip hop’ has changed with a number of subtypes.

This subject has definitely allowed me to be a cosmopolitan person. Making me more aware of the world around me and the content that I choose to consume, making sure I am getting an equal balance of information.


Just keep swimming

Climate change is a global issue which has become a topic of major debate between individuals. The concern of earth being effected by either human nature or by humans who are ‘destroying the earth’. Through organisations like Earth Hour, it requires individuals to think about the effect that their actions may have on the earth and requires us to think global and act local.

The media contributes as a major influence on experiences of climate change, individuals need to understand the balance of both sides before having the capacity to make a decision.  The power of the media may blind side individuals presenting a ‘false balance’. (Ward 2009)  False balance is the report of trying to give equal time and information to the different perceived sides of an issue although there may be distortion.
In Australia, we are rarely exposed to the stories involving small countries. Those untold stories are helped to recognise the voices of the voiceless through justice advocacy group, Pacific Calling Partnership. This social justice group.

‘work towards building a positive, communitarian and sustainable response based on Human Rights to the increased water, food, fuel and land stresses that are predicted under present circumstances and future climate change scenarios’
Kiribati is a small country who have been effected by climate change, sea waters have lead to their country slowly going under water. While this small country is being effected by a global issue that individuals are aware of, it is concerning that the coverage of these smaller countries have not been overly exposed by the media to other countries.

It is important that journalists, expose the concerning effects of climate change, telling the story instead of criticizing the debate of what or who has created this rise in global warming. Individuals should be ‘thinking globally and acting locally’.

Did you get it? Nah didn’t think so

Cultural translation can lead to the disordered interpretation of another ones culture, this is especially depicted through the humour  and comedy of ones country. ‘Comedy after all, is a cultural and social practice that is both shaped by and contributes to historical conjunctures; it pivots on contested and ambivalent relationships to power; it constitutes  a repository of symbols that can be drawn on to indicate how, where and why people place themselves…’   (Medhurst, A 2005) Medhurst in this quote explains that what we see as comical is influenced by the culture we are all immersed in. Different values, upbringing and relationships. It allows individuals to place themselves within that context and create meaning to what is being depicted. While some cultures may find a section of humorous the rules may be different within another culture. Kath and Kim is Australian character driven television show and was filmed in Melbourne . The popular television show reached across to a large fan base and their target audience of ‘Australians’ in which the television show exposed Australian humour.

While Australians see this funny and humorous other cultures may not necessarily make a connection with the script. The use of language for example in the above snippet Kim said ‘stag night’, which others may know has a bachelor party. Due to the success of the television show, the US decided to try and create their own Kath and Kim series, and I say ‘try’ due to the fact that when they tried to air it in Australia it received a lot of negative comments towards it. The television show never adapted to its own culture and just tried to appeal to an audience that was not interested.

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“The successful translation of a comedy depends not only on the translation of the cultural context from one locale to another, but also the kinds of production deals which are made and the expectations about audiences which are then inferred.” (Turnbull, 2008, p. 115).


According to Susan Purdie, comedy depends on the breaking of rules of language and behaviour. You have to know what is acceptable before you find humour in what is unacceptable. The link through understanding each other cultures may be lost in translation. An example of the successful nature of translation through television shows is Jersey Shore and Geordie Shore, two reality television shows which are both similar in context. Both shows are about ‘everyday’ individuals living in a house together and partying. While both have similar context, they have been able to adapt their own culture to the show. For example the use of language, the way their lifestyle is shared is what made them both successful television shows in Australia. They were not trying to force and adapt another culture but their own.

Who has the power? China does.

Film industries are heavily flowed from Western dominance with scholars predicting that Asian film industries, particularly China and India will have the ability to wrestle for control over the flow of global film around the world. Due to technoscapes the wrestle for control is believed to be fuelled by the internet, satellite networks cable television, and DVD distribution. (Schaefer, Karan 2010).
This has ultimately heightened the accessibility for both filmmakers and the audience. With the ability to transform the ways people are making and watching films.  Where film explicitly combines local and global connections leading to homogenizing forces with cultural imperialism (Schiller, 1991).

For example, The 2010 movie the Karate Kid exemplifies the hybridisation of different cultural aspects, the move from a western culture to China. The movie has not only widened the audience scope through the adaptation of other cultural aspects but has also allowed people to be less parochial and more cosmopolitan, although it may not be an accurate representation of society it still allows an awareness of culture. This movie made  $55,665,805 in the opening weekend. (IMBD, 2010)

The world has been exposed to Chinas culture though different films, although the acceptance of China of other cultures seems to be extremely strict.In 1995 the quota of foreign films per year to be released into the country was 20, not until 2012 did the quote increase to 24. While the censorship of films includes, no classification rating, cutting of footage, do not allow movies which are critical of the government or nation. The board of 40 people include government officials, film makers and academics in which the process of a film being released into China goes through a process where the submission of a script or finished filmed must be submitted.

It is all about the message.

The thing about hip-hop today is it’s smart, it’s insightful. The way they can communicate a complex message in a very short space is remarkable. Barack Obama  The Hip Hop culture began in the Bronx, during the 1970s, with the arrival of four crucial elements graffiti, breaking, MCing and DJing. All in which have evolved to include different types of genres and characteristics. . The beginning of the hip hop scene started by a number of Puerto-Ricans. During the era of the 70s Hip Hop became a way out of street violence and gang culture for young teenagers in the Bronx, using dance battles as a way to confront each other without violence. Hip Hop in the streets of the Bronx  became a level playing field where it was not based on how strong or aggressive you were. It focused on the talent that you brought to the streets and not based on where you were from and your upbringing. It allowed individuals to express themselves in a more meaningful way; becoming a lifestyle.

It gave individuals something to strive towards, to be the best ‘battler’ in the streets. The hip hop culture has become very popularized through the flow of Hip Hop globally. During the 1980s the export of the Hip Hop culture was expressed through a number of movies. ‘Beat Street’ was release in 1984 and was about an aspiring DJ from the Bronx and his beast friend trying to get into the show business by exposing people to the hip hop music and culture. The concepts of Hip Hop culture is constantly being re-created through technology enabling the spread. It allows individuals to create a connection to their place and people, through ‘representing’ who you are and the society you are apart of.

For example the ‘step up’ series, they all have something in common, not only the hip hop dance but the fact they all go through hardship and use dance as a way to express what they have to say. In Step up 1: Tyler, living in a low socioeconomic background where gang violence, alcohol and violence was their lifestyle, until Tyler realised there was an opportunity for him to dance. Step up 2: It was about not coming from the best background, where the main female character was doing poorly at school. Through dancing it allowed her to grow as a person and realise that there is more opportunities in the world and people are willing to help you. Step up 3: Different people coming together in which they all have something in common, dance It was an outlet of anger and a place where they felt it can create change, bring people together, believe you were something more and set a whole generation free. Step up 4: Dancing became a way to represent their neighbourhood a way of sending a message without speaking.

All of these have in common multiple things. 1. Hip Hop dancing 2. Expression 3.Bringing people together 4. Glocalisaiton 5.Hybridity. Although hip hop has evolved, it will always remember its roots. For Example.

Hampton has created his own style called ‘exorcist style’ .The style has adaptations of other dance moves.  With a foundation of ‘Locking’ style, which involves the freezing of fast movement. 



Where i come from, should not label who i am

While most Australians are culturally competent various domestic students have a parochial and ethnocentric scope of society. Internationalizing education has furthermore allowed an expansion of cultural competence and a breakdown of communication through the building of relationships and an understanding of ones identity. Marginson (2012) conveys the idea that our identity is never fixed. It is what a person understands themselves or others to be. It is like an item of personal clothing that we choose to wear, a badge or brand. Though this part of us does not define who we are as a person. The experience of interaction by an international student or domestic student may find himself or herself as a different person, for example; feeling more culturally acceptable.


However internationalizing education not only allows us to experience and immerse ourselves amongst the cultures but also allows individuals to be a cosmopolitan person, allowing us to accept diversity and be open to change.  Having the ability to define ourselves as being a truly global citizen and not just learning about what it means to be a global citizen.

Australia is heavily influenced by globalisation and now the world we live in now participates in international workforces , globalizing industries and it is currently important to understand global issues from multi facets and not just know about them. The international ties we have with other countries is imperative in order for Australia to continuously succeed in international education. Marginson (2012) States that ‘ If international education is to continue to succeed as a business in this country, the student experience must keep improving. As for international students Novera (2004:475) states that ‘While academic success may heighten a student’s confidence, social and cultural adjustment can be important factors that lead to this academic success’.

Many facts of adjustments include:

-Home sickness
-Financial difficulties
-Language difficulties
-Problems dealing with university staff and other authorities
-Isolation from other classmates and anxiousness about speaking in the classroom in front of other classmates and lectures.(Leader & Forgaz, 2004:1995; Novera, 2004:476; Robertson et al., 200:94; Scheyvens et al., 2003)

Kell & Vogl (2007) under went research and found that some international students believed that it was not the local students were unfriendly but rather that they also did not know how to initiate conversations with international students. Though once the ‘ice was broken’ a relationship developed.
The relationships we build now, may play a role in our future. It is therefore important to take the opportunity to make connections with everyone around you as the future is headed in the direction of constant interaction with individuals from other countries.

It is made in China

We live in the ‘Global Village’ (Marshall Mcluhan,1968) where technology now has become an extension of ourselves and part of our identity.
The impact of globalisation has both advantaged some countries as well as disadvantaged other countries.  With multiple influences like technological development, economic, political and military interests it has allowed individuals all over the world to interact, connect and instantaneously receive or send information. (O’Shanughnessy and Stadler, 485).

Approximately 58 million tweets sent out per day, and 2 million friend requests are sent every 20 minutes on Facebook.This explicitly conveys how individuals in society today stay connected with each other. The online community instantaneously brings together individuals with common interests from around the globe.

The quote ‘Think globally and act locally’ portrays the idea that what we may not have the power to make a global affect but if we act locally, it enables change to occur at a local scale. As time has progressed the influence of technology has allowed us to ‘Think global and act global’ making an impact on a global scale (Manuel Castells, 2001). An example of this is the youtube video, Kony 2012. With the ability to share, link and send this with others within less less than five days the video had accrued over 50 million views.  by millions of people around the globe with a click of a button.
Marshall Mcluhan’s Utopian view on globalisation, advocates that people of the world can be brought closer together through means of technological devices. This has successfully been an agent of empowerment, education, democracy and equality.

Though with all these profligate changes it has taken a toll on both economic factors and the cultural aspects of society in different countries all over the world. It has become known that the gap between the rich and poor is getting bigger. The United Nations Human Development Report (2005), showed that the fifty richest people in the world would have a combined income greater than the poorest 416 million people.
Some major multi-national companies were using overseas sweatshops abusing the human rights of those overseas. For example Nike, were caught being unethical using sweatshops and it took a toll on the company. They were being egotistic, in the way that profits were more important than the lives of other human beings. Through the exploitation of Nike and the wrong doings, they have had to altered the conditions of their workers.

Australia has been a country heavily influenced by American culture and part of the western culture. As continually growing cultures they have a major influence over other cultures. If countries do not allow cultures to thrive the impact of homogenization will make the world uniform and un unique. It will affect the economy, as a lot of travellers like to go overseas to experience another culture. Though if we become uniformed, there will be no need for individuals to travel overseas. Traditional cultures should be shared and embraced amongst other cultures.