460 lecture 1023

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Published on April 16, 2008

Author: Dorotea

Source: authorstream.com

Global media: imports, exports, migrants, and identities:  Global media: imports, exports, migrants, and identities October 23, 2006 Different ways media texts can be global (or transnational):  Different ways media texts can be global (or transnational) Program exported to other countries (dubbed or subtitled) Friends, ER, Baywatch, Desperate Housewives (usually US  rest of world) Country-specific versions created locally after becoming big hit in original country Desperate Housewives, Survivor, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, The Weakest Link, Trading Spaces Media texts as global/transnational:  Media texts as global/transnational Worldwide coverage of same events Academy Awards, Olympics, World Cup “Migrant media” (a/k/a “ethnic media”) Ethnic-specific programming available throughout regions of diaspora Greek Cypriot radio in England, Turkish TV in England, Eastern European TV in US Let’s get Desperate:  Let’s get Desperate www.abc.com To export or to localize?:  To export or to localize? The case of Desperate Housewives Currently exported to South America (with subtitles) A logical destination: telenovelas dominate prime-time TV Has anyone seen a telenovela? But ALSO being re-shot with local stars—using the original US scripts Separate versions for Argentina, Brazil, Colombia/Ecuador Why bother to re-shoot?:  Why bother to re-shoot? Some US cultural details don’t make sense Plumbers in Latin America aren’t wealthy Funeral rites differ No Thanksgiving holiday No “WASP” ethnic group (Bree) No “spitfire Latina” stereotype! (Gabrielle) More physical affection displayed An interesting quote from an Argentine star:  An interesting quote from an Argentine star “As with a book or a film, the success of a series, no matter how localized you make it or how much you adapt it to another setting, is that its story be universal. And that is what they have achieved here [with Desperate Housewives].” What do you think? Another form of “exporting”:  Another form of “exporting” Chinese technology experts creating Chinese subtitles for US sitcoms and dramas On their own: 40 TV shows/week! Without permission of the US TV producers And without permission of government (censors!) But only for free downloading from Internet—not for us on Chinese TV Why this effort?:  Why this effort? Love for American popular culture Viewers (and translators) learn English by watching US movies and TV New York Times: The adapters “say they pick up useful knowledge about everything from changing fashion and mores to medical science” Why not just watch Chinese TV?:  Why not just watch Chinese TV? Chinese fan of US TV says: “Our own actors are not bad. Those responsible for making Chinese TV shows pathetic are the directors, screenwriters, editors, and the people doing the lighting, music, special effects, and makeup. There are bits of poor quality in every aspect, and it adds up to total trash.” Why else?:  Why else? Strict Chinese government censorship Political issues, sexuality, violence China only imported 20 movies last year (16 from US) Very few US TV shows are imported by government Those that are imported (Desperate Housewives) are poorly dubbed and translated Friends as US history text?:  Friends as US history text? An interesting quote from a Chinese translator “It provides cultural background relating to every aspect of our lives: politics, history, and human culture. These are the things that make American TV special. Quote (ctd.):  Quote (ctd.) “When I first started watching Friends, I found the show was full of information about American history and showed how America had rapidly developed. It’s more interesting than textbooks or other ways of learning.” Do we simplify?:  Do we simplify? A Chinese fan says about US TV: “After watching these shows for some time, I felt the attitudes of some of the characters were beginning to influence me. It’s hard to describe, but I think I learned a way of life from them. “They are good at simplifying complex problems, which I think has something to do with American culture.” Migrant media:  Migrant media Myria Georgiou says ethnic media (e.g., Greek Cypriot TV and radio in London) Help people connect with their ethnic identity; sustain identity and culture Become dynamic participants in construction of transnational community Link people experiencing diaspora: community of people dispersed across borders who share common homeland Georgiou on migrant media (ctd.):  Georgiou on migrant media (ctd.) Still, audiences are actively involved Construct meaning, don’t just absorb it Approach (ethnic) media from multiple subject positions Still, watching the same news, hearing same music, as others in the diaspora (or in the homeland) helps develop sense of belonging/bonding Not everyone agrees:  Not everyone agrees Kevin Robins & Asu Aksoy: it’s only partially true! Rather than long-distance bonding to the “homeland”… Ethnic media simply bring the homeland’s consumer culture to the new place (e.g., Turkey’s products “come” to London) What else?:  What else? Robins & Aksoy argue that ethnic media available in new country might actually liberate migrants from “old country” ways of thinking Now away from homeland, they can step back and see how its values do or don’t relate to them in their new lives Don’t elevate what people want!:  Don’t elevate what people want! Rather than (necessarily) grand ethnocultural or diasporic desires People simply want a social connection—which TV provides But watching TV while away from the “homeland” may actually point out how disconnected migrants are from everyday life there Thus, might actually subvert the diasporic imagination Going “glocal”: Millionaire:  Going “glocal”: Millionaire Created in UK in 1998 Came to US in 1999 As of December 2003, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Licensed or optioned in 107 countries Colombia, China, Russia, Singapore, Philippines, Kazakhstan, Greece, Poland Why the huge success?:  Why the huge success? Uses-and-gratifications theory explanation Meets all of an individual’s mass-media needs Mass-media needs (U&G theory):  Mass-media needs (U&G theory) Cognitive: we acquire information Affective: pleasure/fun of interactive play Personal-integrative: strengthens confidence Social-integrative: contact with family & friends when watching together or when discussing later Tension-release: while watching, relax (forget problems of the day) But what about cultural differences around the world?:  But what about cultural differences around the world? Hofstede: nations can diverge on 5 key dimensions of cultural variability Power distance Individualism Masculinity Uncertainty avoidance Long-term orientation But there are patterns by region:  But there are patterns by region Cooper-Chen studied game shows in 50 nations identified what she calls 4 “Cultural Continents” Groups of countries who share traits on the 5 cultural dimensions Western (Europe, N. America, Turkey, Australia, Israel) East Asian Latin Equatorial Traits shared by “Cultural Continents”:  Traits shared by “Cultural Continents” Game shows in “Western” continent Interactivity, “civilian” players, 1 male host Emphasis on expensive prizes, low production values East Asian game shows Celebrity players, male & female co-hosts, no emphasis on expensive prizes, high production values Both continents: players like to mentally play along But on the other “continents”:  But on the other “continents” Latin game shows: players perform physical feats, viewers watch (rather than mentally “participate”), male and female co-hosts Equatorial game shows: talented students or exceptionally intelligent contestants Audience can’t play along Few shows have moved across “continents”:  Few shows have moved across “continents” But Millionaire is the rare exception It’s been a hit on all four “cultural continents” By contrast, Wheel of Fortune has been multinational for decades But mostly in the “Western” continent (Europe and US) Slight variations: Scandinavian “Vanna” counterpart is not mute; Turkish Wheel has belly dancers “Glocalization”:  “Glocalization” Making small changes to reflect cultural demands Somewhere between pure localization (major adaptations) and globalization (“one size fits all”—which rarely works!) While sticking with core elements for contractual reasons Set, format, “is that your final answer?” How is Millionaire “glocalized”?:  How is Millionaire “glocalized”? Content of questions Difficulty of questions Name of show (Saudi Arabia: “Who Will Earn a Million?”; Russia: “Oh, Lucky—You Are a Millionaire”) Players: mix of celebrities and “civilians” Reactions:  Reactions Game shows are not usually well received critically Millionaire has done OK—but certain countries raise unexpected issues Singapore: poor player performance cast light on education system Russia: players wanted to see cash before they began! Reactions (ctd.):  Reactions (ctd.) India: popular because school system emphasizes memorization UK: seen as undemocratic—only the wealthy contestants could afford to risk Canada: seen as democratic and participatory—anyone could get on the show and do well The Olympics: the ultimate global media text?:  The Olympics: the ultimate global media text? Modern Olympics 1896: Pierre de Coubertin International sport  international peace Coubertin’s vision:  Coubertin’s vision “Keep away the opportunities that are advanced [by profit-motivated people] whose only dream is to use someone else’s muscles either to build upon his own political fortune or to make his own business prosper” How did that work out for you, Pierre? Moretti’s argument:  Moretti’s argument Media—especially TV—have completely transformed the Olympics In ways incompatible with the Olympic movement Clashes of ideologies Profit (media businesses) Culture (individual nations and their fans) Planning vs. spontaneity: TV forces a script onto unscripted events Internationalism vs. nationalism:  Internationalism vs. nationalism Olympic ideals: universality, internationalism TV’s presentation: nationalistic TV networks serve as cheerleaders for country’s own athletes Individual countries’ nationalism:  Individual countries’ nationalism Sports preferred by country’s citizens get more air time US: figure skating, skiing, track and field, gymnastics, swimming UK: badminton; Japan: judo; Iran: weightlifting Canada: synchronized swimming; Mexico: basketball Let’s watch a bit:  Let’s watch a bit How do Olympics display/exploit culture?:  How do Olympics display/exploit culture? Opening and closing ceremonies music, traditional costumes, dancing 1936 Berlin Olympics: stage for Nazi propaganda Anyone seen Leni Riefenstahl’s movie Olympia? During Cold War, Olympics were East vs. West battlefield Driving force today: not culture, but business:  Driving force today: not culture, but business Multi-billion dollar business CBS paid IOC $50,000 for 1960 TV rights NBC paid IOC $893,000,000 for 2008 rights TV networks, international corporations, politicians, private citizens—and yes, athletes!—compete for visibility, influence

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