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Posts Tagged ‘Corporations’

By Jhansher Khan

Who is really in charge of corporations? What types of members of society do they choose to marginalize? Typically people who are in charge of corporations for the most part are “white males,” who lead the patriarchal society. Those who become marginalized are typically women or non-white members of society. This statement may seem too general and I’m probably not speaking out for some “exceptions”, but for the most part this is the case in the corporate world. Basically, all the products we buy, television programming, and the creators of media culture are male for the most part. Advertising is just a way to give us that taste of what they have in store for us. In simpler terms, “look what we have for you” or “don’t miss out on this awesome deal” or “program.”

In reality, we just feed these corporations and their certain ideas of who should be represented in the media and who shouldn’t be represented in the media. Yes, there are networks on television that represent these minority groups and that represent women. One example of these types of channels is the “women’s network.” This program is geared primarily towards women and their tastes in television. However, the network is still bombarded with advertisements, which advertise products geared towards women. Therefore, women can be used as a marketable segment of society. These advertisements are primarily generated by men, therefore isn’t that defeating the purpose of having a distinct women’s network?

It is obvious that these “white male” dominated media firms are our primary sources of information, as it makes up the majority of what we view in the media. According to a site displaying statistics within the states regarding journalists, “According to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, 11.5 per cent of the 54,700 journalists working at newspapers across the U.S. are visible minorities. That’s about 6290 journalists, compared to 6100 in the previous two years.” ( http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/) This number is significant since it represents how few people in the media are hired that are classified as “visible minorities.” Therefore, what is the media trying to prove regarding hiring so few “visible minorities?” Are they trying to make a claim that they accept minorities working in the media? However, it is clear that there is still misrepresentation, regardless of this small number of “visible minorities” working in the corporate world.

Sources:

( http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/resources/research_documents/statistics/minority_representation/minority_representation.cfm )

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By Jhansher Khan

I’d like to look at the issue between “Corporate Culture” and “Open culture.” I found this area to be significant, as we covered this in Dr.Strangelove’s CMN 2160 class. The idea of the Corporate Culture trying to destroy our own “open culture” created through the realm of the social internet is so prevalent. As Dr.Strangelove stated, that certain countries are banning the use of video hosting programs such as “YouTube.” Apparently voicing our own opinions is a negative aspect? I personally believe this to be ridiculous. In the case of Italy for example, these sites are generally being banned from use and even posting a video up, it has to go through multiple procedures put forth by the “Corporate Culture.” In an article called, “Italy Preparing to Hold Youtube,” it states, “The move toward regulation continues with a new policy that could force sites like YouTube to obtain TV licenses from the Italian government. Such sites could also be fully liable for copyright infringement and libelous or illegal material posted by users.” (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/) Is society supposed to be this regulated, aren’t people being marginalized with regards to free speech and opinion. What makes us human is to be opinionated and to voice those opinions. Therefore we are losing aspects of ourselves that make us “human,” to the corporate world.

This is honestly a type of Tyranny, but what kind of threat do Italian citizens pose by posting up their own media material? Will it destroy the corporate world if citizens voice their opinions and other citizens watch this user generated content? This is basically a “dominant” model of media, meaning no alternative media what so ever. These types of laws are not as prevalent in North America, but certain policies may take a turn for the worse if this type of “censoring” trend continues.

According to the article, “Sites that allow video uploads would be responsible both for copyrighted content posted by users and for libelous material in uploaded videos.” (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/) Therefore, its not only the citizens who post up videos who are to blame, its also the sites that allow them too that will suffer from this policy as well. I personally believe that this is a type of “internet” fascism in a way, since the corporate world wants to almost control citizens entirely. In the past, it used to be control through the political world. However, now its the corporate world that has its grasp on society.

“Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is one of the country’s biggest media barons, and his properties are directly affected by infringement on sites like YouTube.” (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/) This indicates a mixture between corporate and the political world. Since Berlusconi owns both the corporate world and the political world, he has found a way to implement policies in corporation’s best interests.

Will all of this control increase as time goes on? Corporate Culture seems to be taking more of an effect on us and it seems that the main purpose of the corporate world is to gain profit, as well as to be the only unitary voice in society that everyone must turn to.

Sources:

(http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/02/italy-preparing-to-hold-youtube-others-liable-for-uploads.ars)

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By Jhansher Khan

What interests me primarily at this point and something that I can see the effects of on a daily basis is hyperconsumption. As we went over this is Dr.Strangelove’s CMN 2160 class, I grew more interested and wanted to explore this to a further extent. He raised many questions I was particularly interested in, the fact that corporations may be able to regulate everything we do or say. Will we lose free speech and our ability to voice our own opinions? Also, to be human is also to question attributes in our environment and assign ideas of what is right and what is wrong. We all speak our opinions, but what if our voices were marginalized and we had to resort to listening to one power with no other alternatives to turn to? Dr.Strangelove brought up this point during his lecture on January 18, 2010. It then had me thinking, what if corporations moved far beyond the production of goods and shifted into an age of control and Tyranny? This is just a speculation, that may or may not occur in decades from now.

We live in an advertising age full of corporations, tempting us to consume, never leaving us with that taste of satisfaction. We must consume, we are never satisfied with what we currently have, we want what is better than the “leading brands.” We work even harder so we have enough money to consume more. Not satisfied with a fully functional 20 inch TV screen, why not get something bigger? Its obvious we don’t absolutely need it, but it would be nice to have something that serves its function much better than the previous versions of essentially the same piece of technology produced on a larger scale. So the idea of replacement is at hand here, whereas improvements are always being made. Therefore, the idea of “change” is at hand.

Lets address one of Harold Innis’s ideas regarding “essentialism,” whereas the world is unchanging and stagnant. This viewpoint introduces the idea that society woul remain “fixed” and “permanent.” In the world we live in today, change is inevitable though. In a book entitled, “The Toronto School of Communication Theory:Interpretations, Extensions, Applications,” it states, “Essentialist and fundamentalist movements organized and stood up to the dominance of the leaders, financers and prophets of global culture, economy and polity, sustained in their resistance by the universe of little media.”(81). To further verify what is being stated here, the idea is that while society did evolve and change, certain groups of society sustained the idea of “essentialism”, whereas they were resistant to change that was occuring. However, dominant powers in society advocate for change constantly. Innis was strongly opposed to the idea of “essentialism” which was widely advocated for in the 1950’s, whereas ideas of society remained stagnant and those in society itself weren’t widely aware of change that was occuring. It is a very “old” way of thinking, where ideas of advancing technological change isn’t advocated for. Innis was one of the few people during his time to actually question the idea of the conventions of  an”essentialist” society and tried to advocate for the idea that society changes due to new innovations.

The question arises out of this, whether or not change is positive or negative. It depends on multiple perspectives when addressing this idea, since it could potentially be both positive and negative. For example, the negative aspect could be too much of control could result over society by corporations if this trend of consumerism continues. An example of a positive aspect would be the idea of technological change which allows us to perform tasks faster than ever before. Therefore, there are two sides to this issue of “change” and Innis was one of the first to question change.

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