Journal articles: 'Sonic Youth' – Grafiati (2024)

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Relevant bibliographies by topics / Sonic Youth / Journal articles

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Author: Grafiati

Published: 4 June 2021

Last updated: 13 February 2022

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1

Folmer,RobertL. "Sonic Youth." ASHA Leader 18, no.5 (May 2013): 44–50. http://dx.doi.org/10.1044/leader.ftr2.18052013.44.

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Okada,T., and A.Ogawa. "The Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise: Youth Is Not the Only Thing That's Sonic." Theater 43, no.1 (January1, 2013): 109–25. http://dx.doi.org/10.1215/01610775-1815548.

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3

Heetderks, David. "Hardcore Re-visioned: Reading and Misreading in Sonic Youth, 1987-8." Music Analysis 32, no.3 (June25, 2013): 363–403. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/musa.12013.

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4

Jongh, Karlijn De. "Sonic Youth, Karlijn De Jongh, Green on Red Gallery, Dublin, June - July 2008." Circa, no.125 (2008): 93. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/25564961.

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Garcia, Antero, StephanieM.Robillard, Miroslav Suzara, and JorgeE.Garcia. "Bus riding leitmotifs: making multimodal meaning with elementary youth on a public school bus." English Teaching: Practice & Critique 20, no.3 (August16, 2021): 398–412. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/etpc-07-2020-0080.

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Purpose This study explores student sensemaking based on the creation and interpretation of sound on a public school bus, operating as a result of a desegregation settlement. To understand these multimodal literacy practices, the authors examined students’ journeys, sonically as passengers in mobile and adult-constructed space. Design/methodology/approach As a qualitative study, the authors used ethnographic methods for data collection. Additionally, the authors used a design-based research approach to work alongside students to capture and interpret sound levels on the bus. Findings Findings from this study illustrate how students used sounds as a means to create community, engage in agentic choices and make meaning of their surroundings. Moreover, students used sound as a way around the pervasive drone of the bus itself. Research limitations/implications Research implications from this study speak to the need for research approaches that extend beyond visual observation. Sonic interpretation can offer researchers greater understanding into student learning as they spend time in interstitial spaces. Practical implications This manuscript illustrates possibilities that emerge if educators attune to the sounds that shape a learner’s day and the ways in which attention to sonic design can create more equitable spaces that are conducive to students’ learning and literacy needs. Originality/value This study demonstrates the use of sound as a means of sensemaking, calling attention to new ways of understanding student experiences in adult-governed spaces.

6

Bonniol, Marie-Pierre. "Sonic Youth, du style au geste ou la prétention esthétique d’un groupe de rock." Volume !, no.1 : 1 (May15, 2002): 61–79. http://dx.doi.org/10.4000/volume.2509.

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7

de kloet, jeroen. "popular music and youth in urban china: the dakou generation." China Quarterly 183 (September 2005): 609–26. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s030574100500038x.

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the import of illegal, cut cds from the west (dakou cds) in the mid-1990s marked the revitalization of chinese rock culture. this article analyses the rise of dakou culture in the context of the interrelated processes of globalization and marketization of chinese culture. contrary to accounts that proclaim the crisis or death of chinese rock, this article describes the re-emergence of rock since the mid-1990s. it presents an overview on three different scenes, part of the dakou culture among chinese youth. the fashionable bands are inspired by a cosmopolitan aspiration, the underground bands signify the return of the political and the urban folk singers express a nostalgic longing. all three scenes attest to the current diversity of popular music cultures in china, and are interpreted as sonic tactics employed by chinese youth to carve out their own space amidst an increasingly commercialized and globalized society.

8

Roy, Anjali Gera. "Black beats with a Punjabi twist." Popular Music 32, no.2 (May 2013): 241–57. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0261143013000111.

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AbstractThe bonding between black and brown immigrants in Britain has resulted in the emergence of a new musical genre called Bhangra, which hybridises Punjabi dhol rhythms with those of reggae, rap and hip hop. Bhangra's appropriation of Black sounds that are considered ‘Kool’ in the West has not only given Asian youth a new, distinctive voice in the form of ‘Asian dance music’ but has also led to the reinvention of Punjabi folk tradition in consonance with the lived realities of multicultural Britain. This essay examines various aspects of sonic hybridisation in ‘the diaspora space’ by British Asian music producers through tracing the history of Bhangra's ‘douglarisation’, beginning in the 1990s with Apache Indian's experiments with reggae. It covers all forms of mixings that came in between, including active collaborations, rappings, remixings, samplings and so on that made Punjabi and Jamaican patois dialogue in the global popular cultural space. The essay explores the possibilities of a ‘douglas poetics’ for Bhangra by juxtaposing the celebration of sonic douglarisation in postmodern narratives of migrancy and hybridity against the stigmatisation of biological douglarisation in miscegenation theories and ancient Indian pollution taboos.

9

Stasik, Michael. "REAL LOVE VERSUS REAL LIFE: YOUTH, MUSIC AND UTOPIA IN FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE." Africa 86, no.2 (April6, 2016): 215–36. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0001972016000024.

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ABSTRACTThe most popular music among youths in Sierra Leone's capital Freetown is music dealing with love. While the music, which is mainly of foreign origin, evokes idealized images of ‘real love’, the real-life relationships of its young audiences are characterized by chronic states of emotional uncertainty and dissatisfaction. Economic disparities lead to an increasing monetization of young people's relationships, driving them either into a fragile flux of multiple partners or out of intimate engagements altogether. Taking this ‘dissonance’ between sonic representations and social relations as a point of departure, in this article I explore the ways in which young Freetonians position themselves at the juncture of desire and reality. After an introduction to Freetown's contemporary music scene, I juxtapose various life and love stories of youths with the fantasies they invest in ‘love music’. In so doing, I discuss the complex relationships between affect, exchange, deprivation and the strictures involved in attaining social adulthood. Drawing on the notion of utopia – denoting a desired yet unattainable state – I argue that it is within the experiential gap between the consumption of a representation and the desire to live (up to) that representation that Freetown's youths rework their horizons of possibilities.

10

Wright, Anthony Gerard, and Jurhamuti José Velázquez Morales. "“Where Your Voice Burns Like Fire”: Visual art and radio broadcasting as semiotic practices of intergenerational political socialization among the Purépecha of Cherán, México." Global Studies of Childhood 11, no.2 (April15, 2021): 179–94. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/20436106211008647.

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This article analyzes visual art and radio broadcasting as semiotic practices that serve as crucial sites of child and youth participation in Indigenous social movements. Looking specifically at a movement against organized crime, political corruption, and environmental exploitation that emerged in 2011 among the Purépechan people of Cherán, Michoacán, México, we show how young people’s creative practices present a significant challenge to hegemonic models of adult- directed political socialization and participation, although they do not result in a total flattening of age-based hierarchies. Drawing on multimodal ethnographic fieldwork and personal experience in the movement, we show how the creative practices of youth activists facilitate the production and circulation of visual and sonic content that conveys historical and onto-epistemological frameworks which guide the movement. We also show how the circulation of this content generates the potential to influence those who come into contact with it, including both Purépechans and non-Purépechans who reside well beyond the borders of Cherán. In doing so, we demonstrate that multimodal ethnographic attention to the ways in which young people’s diverse semiotic repertoires are deployed in contexts of political activism can provide valuable insights about political socialization, intergenerational relationships, and the entanglement of a variety of politically charged semiotic forms in everyday life.

11

Anderton, Chris. "A many-headed beast: progressive rock as European meta-genre." Popular Music 29, no.3 (October 2010): 417–35. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0261143010000450.

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AbstractThere has been a marked resurgence of interest in progressive rock music both commercially and critically, with a number of articles and books now reassessing its styles, meanings, politics and appeal. Despite this, there has been a tendency to define progressive rock through a ‘symphonic orthodoxy’ which preferences a limited, albeit highly successful, number of British groups operating in a relatively narrow sonic landscape. This article questions that orthodoxy by drawing on the lay definitions and understandings of fans to extend the definitions and geographies of progressive rock, and to characterise it as a European meta-genre. It examines the meta-genre's formative years at the beginning of the 1970s, and argues that progressive rock was inspired by the explorations of a European youth counterculture whose music was influenced by local socio-political and economic contexts, as well as by the music and attitudes of the American counterculture and of European Romanticism.

12

Griffiths, Spike. "Building the youth music industry in South Wales, 1996‐2020." Journal of Popular Music Education 5, no.1 (April1, 2021): 119–25. http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/jpme_00047_1.

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This article shines a light on the tailored and targeted popular music provision provided by Sonig, Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council’s (RCTCBC) long-standing music industry programme. Over a twenty-year period, Sonig has successfully engaged with young people in disenfranchised areas of South Wales, many of whom have never experienced a way of accessing the music industry. Through workshops, masterclasses, performance opportunities, mentoring, networking and signposting career pathways, Sonig has become a new gateway for young talent. Creating these pathways is key to an equality of access and furthermore, enabling young people to reach their creative potential, through developing confidence, self-esteem and raising their aspirations. This article tracks the history of Sonig and provides a focus on how its constant evolution has positively intervened in the lives of many young people living in Wales.

13

Lex, Elina. "Sounding out Place and Cultural Memory in <i>Tempelhofer: Human Scale</i>." Abstracts of the ICA 1 (July15, 2019): 1–2. http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/ica-abs-1-212-2019.

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<p><strong>Abstract.</strong> With the increase of sonic life in digital spaces, new platforms for the exhibition of sound are emerging; from multisensory web interfaces, open access databases, apps for playing with sound, to experimental locative and geo-located pieces. From iPods, mobile phones, and noise cancelling headphones, new technological tools are constantly remediating how we listen and relate to the sonic spaces around us. The collaboration between digital humanities, sound studies, locative media and cartography holds many possibilities for challenging silent and text-centric cultures of communication into rich multi-sensory experiences that accommodate diverse knowledges and abilities. By thinking through new modes for staging cultural memory and presenting ephemera like sound, digital mapping tools can facilitate alternative forms of sensory relationships to the social and physical spaces around us.</p><p><i>Tempelhofer: Human Scale</i> is a web-based and locative sound mapping project based in Berlin’s Tempelhofer Feld. What was once an airport, military base, and monument of Nazi Germany, the grounds have only recently been transformed into a public park, recreation area, and event space; a blank slate for human potential. On the north side, a Shaolin Temple lies just opposite a mini golf course made up of 18 interactive sculptures designed by local artists. DIY garden communities make up another corner. Recreational activities such as cycling, Segway clubs, and kite flying roam in and around the empty airport runways. A “grillplatz” barbeque area accommodates hundreds of families and youth, emitting thick clouds of smoke that mirror, in a historical juxtaposition, the airplane exhaust of a once operating airport. Bearing the aroma of a new Berlin, Tempelhofer Feld now embodies a melting pot of different foods, activities, and cultures coming into sensory contact. In the shadows of the massive airport structure lies a refugee camp, producing complex questions around heritage, conservation, and the politics of public space.</p><p>Tempelhofer Feld is a space that is highly politicized with its own contentious history and questions of preservation. Originally designed as a cornerstone for Hitler’s “world capital,” the airport sought to “crystalize claims of racial supremacy and world domination through architecture” (Parsloe 2017). Locating a refugee camp on this site not only creates complex associations between past and present but it also illuminates the tensions around living conditions on a site upheld by many strict heritage and conservation bylaws. Tempelhofer Feld is Europe’s largest protected historical monument, meaning complex tensions around preservation/conservation and development/change are consistently playing out. To explore these tensions, my project utilizes mapping technologies to trace how new emerging ephemeral activities are interacting with place, along with its complex politics, preserved history, and cultural memory. These ephemeral activities emerging out of the public spaces of the park produce fascinating tensions between the vital idealism of Berlin’s present and the turbulent history of its recent past. Recycled and reactive spaces like Tempelhofer Feld display the complex tensions between the re-adaptive and ephemeral nature of the park against its permanent state of preservation and commemoration of history. It underscores how charged public spaces in the city can be: “how should Berliners remember the past in a way that will most intelligently inform how they will move forward into the future?” (Malamud 2013).</p><p>The series of sound recordings focus on the quiet, intimate, and ephemeral scale of human activity – from walking, jogging, barbequing, lounging, kite-flying, socializing, gardening. These different sound activities are placed as destinations on a map that can be explored on a web interface as well as through geo-located points when walking through the park. To recreate the locative experience of the park on the web interface, sound clips are set against photographs of the different landscapes of the airport; expansive, barren, and sometimes empty of human activity. The intimacy of these sounds set against the open landscapes is meant to invert a space originally designed for technical infrastructure, transportation, and nationalist domination – a scale in which the individual human body often becomes erased. The question of scale is central to these explorations: how can sound on the intimate human scale be used to invert the scale of a massive airport/urban park? How does sound, with its embodied/sensory functions, invert questions around remote sensing that goes into mapping satellite imagery? What aspects of human sensory experience are erased or go unnoticed through remote, vision-based satellite and mapping technologies?</p><p>Soundscapes embody the complex relationship between human and environment in a complex system of information exchange. To the World Soundscape Project, soundwalking is a method for deep listening and participation in our everyday soundscapes: it involves “not simply a passive monitoring, but an active mental and physical participation in the ongoing composition forever being created” (Truax 1974, 38). This idea that the soundscape is not only something we passively listen to but something we also actively engage in and contribute to is central to the interactivity of this project. Sound can be activated through the user’s touch (on the web, through the mouse and in person, through their location). Different sound nodes can be activated simultaneously, building up a more complex and layered soundscape. By interacting with these different sounds, the user can acoustically design and recompose the soundscape around them, contributing to a greater sense of spatial and aural awareness.</p><p>The ephemeral nature of these activities/happenings is also emphasized through sound’s own elusive materiality, intangibility, and ephemerality. How the temporal and ephemerality of sound can be used as an archival tool to map out the contingent and ephemeral nature of memory is an essential question to this project. In Mark Smith’s theorization of sonic geographies, he states, “if we listen to it, the landscape is not so much a static topography that can be mapped and drawn, [but] a fluid and changing surface that transforms as it is enveloped by different sounds” (Bull and Back 2016, 11). The sonic geography of Tempelhofer Feld therefore represents its transformative and constantly evolving surface. While urban spaces (and its associated cartographic technologies) have dominantly been understood as visual spectacles, sound mapping foregrounds the vital role that sound plays in understanding the everyday cultural, political, and physical spaces around us.</p>

14

Borzucka-Sitkiewicz, Katarzyna, and Karina Leksy. "Changing role of school health education in the context of Polish youth Internet (over)use." International Journal of Pedagogy, Innovation and New Technologies 7, no.2 (December30, 2020): 23–30. http://dx.doi.org/10.5604/01.3001.0014.6859.

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School health education is supposed to be aimed at taking actions based on the concept of positive health and good well-being but its scope is extending due to socio – cultural changes. Nowadays virtual world is becoming a part of the social reality and is perceived as an important socialization factor. For this reason Internet use should be treated as one of the health education areas as it influences psychosocial health and wellbeing of individuals. The article presents the Polish educational system and the place of health education in core curriculum. This issues constitute a theoretical framework for reporting the findings of research, which were aimed at determining the behaviours of Polish pupils undertaken in virtual space. The main goal of the research was to establish the influence of these behaviours on physical and psychosocial health as well as wellbeing of respondents. A similar studies were conducted by Sonia Livingstone, Michał Klichowski and Maciej Tanaś. The research proved the strong engagement of pupils surveyed in all types of Internet activities, which had an impact on occurring disorders of many areas of functioning (e.g. back pains, visual problems, tiredness, anxiety, insomnia, learning difficulties, social problems). The findings justified the urgent need to include the issues regarding safe and healthy behaviours undertaken in cyber space in health education curriculum. In conclusion some guidelines for educational practice have been formulated.

15

Wawrzyniak, Sonia. "Tutoring, mentoring i coaching w edukacji osób z trudnościami w uczeniu się." Studia Edukacyjne, no.56 (March15, 2020): 221–34. http://dx.doi.org/10.14746/se.2020.56.12.

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Wawrzyniak Sonia, Tutoring, mentoring i coaching w edukacji osób z trudnościami w uczeniu się [Tutoring, Mentoring and Coaching in the Education of People with Learning Difficulties]. Studia Edukacyjne nr 56, 2020, Poznań 2020, pp. 221-234. Adam Mickiewicz University Press. ISSN 1233-6688. DOI: 10.14746/se.2020.56.12The article presents the possibilities it creates using pedagogical innovations such as tutoring, mentoringand coaching supporting the traditional model of education at work with students with school difficulties. Problems withfinding your own path for children and youth, coping skills in a dynamically changing reality,in consumer times with many difficult situations is often undertaken on the basis of school practice and and scientific research. Young people are expected to have knowledge and skills flexible, mobility in various spheres of life because the change is inscribed in the surrounding reality. Important task of modern school and educational institutions is making young people aware of challenges, that stand before them and prepare them to the right life, educational and professional choices in accordance with their capabilities andrequirements of the labor market.

16

Pereira, Daniervelin Renata Marques. "Editorial." Texto Livre: Linguagem e Tecnologia 11, no.3 (December26, 2018): i—iii. http://dx.doi.org/10.17851/1983-3652.11.3.i-iii.

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Neste número 3, do 11º volume de 2018 da revista Texto Livre, contamos com artigos de cinco eixos temáticos ou trilhas: Linguística e Tecnologia, Educação e Tecnologia, Comunicação e Tecnologia, Tecnologia da Informação e Computação e, pela primeira vez, Robótica Pedagógica. Observamos, com este último número de 2018, em que passamos a periodicidade de dois para três números anuais, um crescimento nas demandas recebidas pela revista Texto Livre, que aumentou, consequentemente, sua equipe editorial. É importante frisar a importância dessa equipe na avaliação e edição dos artigos, buscando rigor nos seus trabalhos, para oferecer cada vez mais contribuições originais e de qualidade para a comunidade em geral. Ressaltamos ainda o crescimento de estudos na área de tecnologias, o que torna este periódico um espaço importante para circulação e difusão de questões variadas em torno dos eixos temáticos contemplados por ele. Consideramos, ainda, que temos reunido ao longo dos últimos anos diversos trabalhos que não só refletem a centralidade da temática abrangida na nossa sociedade, como também influenciam novas pesquisas que emergem em nível internacional.Abrindo o eixo Linguística e Tecnologia, Leonel Figueiredo de Alencar, Bruno Cuconato e Alexandre Rademaker, no artigo em inglês “MorphoBr: an open source large-coverage full-form lexicon for morphological analysis of Portuguese”, dedicam-se a apresentar o MorphoBr, um projeto em desenvolvimento voltado para a construção de um léxico de formas plenas para a análise morfológica do português. Emeli Borges Pereira Luz, em artigo também em inglês, “Pre-service language teacher training for distance education”, investiga se os cursos de ensino de inglês oferecidos por Universidades Públicas Brasileiras têm êxito na formação tecnológica dos professores, fornecendo habilidades necessárias para ensinar via educação a distância através de ambientes online. Em “AnoTex: rotina de filtragem de dados estruturados do gênero artigo científico como contribuição para o PLN”, Cláudia Aparecida Fonseca, Rafael Santiago de Souza Netto, Marcus Vinícius Carvalho Guelpeli e Adriana Nascimento Bodolay apresentam o AnoTex, um anotador textual capaz de executar a filtragem de dados estruturados do gênero artigo científico, coletados dos arquivos disponíveis na base de dados da Biblioteca Eletrônica SciELO. Luiz Henrique Mendes Brandão e Jesiel Soares Silva, em “Implicações docentes e discentes na utilização das novas TIC no processo de ensino-aprendizagem de língua inglesa”, analisam as implicações docentes e discentes no processo de ensino-aprendizagem de língua inglesa, avaliando a utilização de materiais em vídeo, músicas, entre outras mídias advindas dessas novas TIC por professores de educação básica. Vinícius Oliveira Braz Deprá, em “Sociedade da informação e linguagem: as novas tecnologias e o caminho para a construção de palavras e sentidos”, contextualiza a sociedade da informação e analisa o relativismo linguístico e ideias trabalhadas por George Orwell em seu livro “1984”. Em “Os objetos educacionais digitais em Linguagem e Interação: avanços, permanências ou retrocessos?”, Luciana Pereira Silva, Andreia Rutiquewiski e Juliana Benatti analisam os Objetos Educacionais Digitais que acompanham a coleção didática Linguagem e Interação, indicada ao ensino médio 2018-2020 via Plano Nacional do Livro Didático. No eixo Educação e Tecnologia, Wiselis Rosanna Sena Rivas, Francisco Javier Herrero Gutiérrez e Sonia Casillas Martín, no artigo em inglês “ICT-mediated education in youth and adult literacy programmes in the Dominican Republic: an approach to the state of the art”, a partir do contexto da educação básica em alfabetização em jovens e adultos na República Dominicana, analisam a relação entre Educação e TIC/Internet com o objetivo geral de compreender até que ponto as TIC são usadas na educação de adultos nesse país. Em artigo em espanhol, “Dispositivos móviles para el aprendizaje: análisis de la investigación doctoral sobre mobile learning en España”, Francisco Javier Hinojo Lucena, Inmaculada Aznar Díaz e José María Romero Rodríguez estudam a influência de dispositivos móveis na aprendizagem a partir da análise de teses de doutorado defendidas na Espanha sobre aprendizagem móvel. Silvia Alicia Martínez, Fabrícia Vieira de Araújo, Suelen Ribeiro de Souza, Evandro Vargas e Leandro Garcia Pinho, em “Relato de experiência: oficina pedagógica como objeto de aprendizagem na formação inicial do pedagogo no Consórcio CEDERJ”, discutem a experiência de ensino e aprendizagem adquirida em uma oficina pedagógica, no âmbito do Curso de Pedagogia da Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense (UENF), no Centro de Educação a Distância do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (CEDERJ). Em “Microvídeos e aplicativo móvel: estratégia comunicacional de apoio à implementação de legislação ambiental e florestal”, Marcia Izabel Fugisawa Souza, Tércia Zavaglia Torres, João dos Santos Vila da Silva, Nadir Rodrigues Pereria, Daniel Rodrigo Freitas Apolinário, Marcos Cezar Visoli e Silvio Roberto Medeiros Evangelista apresentam resultados de pesquisa realizada visando à definição de estratégia comunicacional para promover a divulgação de informações e conhecimentos gerados pela Embrapa sobre soluções tecnológicas, em especial, softwares e sistemas de informação, necessárias à adequação da paisagem rural ao Código Florestal brasileiro. Leonard Barreto Moreira, Annabell Del Real Tamariz e Joyce Vieira Fettermann, em “O uso da mineração de textos no suporte a correções de questões discursivas em uma instituição de educação superior”, relatam o desenvolvimento de um modelo computacional com uso de técnicas de Mineração de Textos para a tarefa de correção de questões dissertativas em ambientes online, o que possibilita a diminuição da subjetividade na avaliação das questões discursivas dos discentes. Gabriela Marques-Schäfer e Ana Angélica da Silva Orlando, em “Concepções de aprendizagem de línguas e o Duolingo: uma análise crítica sobre sua proposta e experiências de aprendizes”, investigam a concepção de aprendizagem de usuários no aplicativo Duolingo e suas propostas, buscando responder como aprendizes que usam ou já usaram o aplicativo Duolingo definem suas experiências com aprendizagem de línguas e com as ofertas do aplicativo. Por fim, Élida Paulina Ferreira e Daiane Conceição Simões Santos, em “Inovação no ensino: letramento crítico no smartphone em sala de aula de língua portuguesa”, apresentam resultados de pesquisa em sala de aula em que foi utilizado o smartphone como recurso tecnológico visando à leitura e à produção de memes, defendendo a importância de os jovens estudantes desenvolverem o letramento crítico na escola.No eixo Comunicação e Tecnologia, Cristine Fickelscherer Mattos, no artigo “Narrativa seriada e comunicação: meios, modos e tempos”, estuda as características comunicativas da narrativa seriada do ponto de vista dos estudos contemporâneos de narratologia, em diversos tempos, modos e meios, utilizando, para isso, o conceito de narrativas trasmidiáticas. E Iana Coimbra, em “Telejornalismo além da TV: uma discussão sobre os territórios contemporâneos da notícia”, discute como o telejornalismo contemporâneo passa por processos de convergência, não se limitando mais ao ambiente televisivo, mas inserido cada vez mais no ambiente digital. No eixo Tecnologia da Informação e Computação, Lucio Agostinho Rocha propõe no artigo “Gui Builder Mod: uma ferramenta para criação de aplicações gráficas móveis em Tcl/Tk” uma nova ferramenta para rápido desenvolvimento de apps Tcl/Tk para a plataforma Android. Estreando o eixo Robótica Pedagógica, temos três artigos científicos nesta edição. Thais Gabrielly Marques de Andrade, Zaíne Raquel Santos Vicente, Heryverton Araujo Lemos Leite, Ana Paula Chaves Cabral, Rodrigo Baldow, Nady Rocha e Marcelo Brito Carneiro Leão, em “A robótica livre e o ensino de física e de programação: desenvolvendo um teclado musical eletrônico”, relatam o desenvolvimento de um teclado musical elétrico por três estudantes do ensino médio/técnico em informática de uma escola pública, com a colaboração de uma discente da Universidade Federal da Paraíba. O objetivo foi proporcionar atividades educativas mais criativas e interativas, com o intuito de os alunos aprenderem mais alguns conhecimentos de Física e Programação relacionados ao protótipo. Fernando da Costa Barbosa, Crhistiane da Fonseca Souza, Arlindo José de Souza Junior e Deive Barbosa Alves apresentam um “Mapeamento das pesquisas sobre Robótica Educacional no Ensino Fundamental”, concentrando-se em produções online, tanto no banco da CAPES como na biblioteca nacional no período de pouco mais de dez anos. Finalmente, Heitor Felipe da Silva e Ana Beatriz Gomes Pimenta de Carvalho, em “A leitura do mundo através da tecnologia educacional: a adoção da Robótica Pedagógica nas práticas de democratização do conhecimento científico”, apresentam um Mapeamento Sistemático da Literatura (MSL) de 2010 a 2017 considerando trabalhos focados na democratização do conhecimento científico e das práticas de alfabetização e letramento científico com adoção da robótica pedagógica.Finalizamos este editorial desejando mais uma vez uma leitura produtiva para tod@s!

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Wagner, Adriana, María del Luján González Tornaría, Lisiane Alvim Saraiva Junges, and Esthella Hernandéz. "Los docentes frente a las demandas de las familias: aproximando contextos (Teachers face the demands of families: approaching contexts)." Revista Eletrônica de Educação 13, no.2 (May10, 2019): 600. http://dx.doi.org/10.14244/198271992543.

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The role of Teachers has been transformed in recent years due to the increasingly complex educational demands and responsibilities that come from the students’ families. The aim of the present study was to investigate how Elementary School Teachers in Brazil and Uruguay perceive and evaluate the demands they receive from families, and how prepared they think they are to face this reality. A qualitative, exploratory and transcultural method was used, based on the technique of Focal Groups, with one group being conducted in Brazil (10 participants) and anther one in Uruguay (9 participants). In both groups, participants were women, with experience in public and private schools. Data were treated using the Content Analysis technique and results pointed out two main themes: Academic Formation and Family Demands. The analysis showed several similarities in the relationship between family and school in daily practice - both in Brazil and Uruguay - especially regarding the Teacher’s role. It was observed that Teachers still face some challenges in set out their roles for themselves and the families. Teachers have also shown they have insufficient resources to work with the diversity of family demands and it is possible to think that they would benefit from spaces of reflection and sensitivity development, in order to better discriminate these demands. Thus, it may be said that it is necessary to inaugurate a deep discussion about what it means to form Teachers to work with families.ResumoO papel dos professores tem se transformado nos últimos anos devido às demandas e responsabilidades educacionais, cada vez mais complexas, que derivam das famílias de seus alunos. O objetivo deste estudo foi investigar como os professores de ensino fundamental do Brasil e Uruguai percebem e avaliam as demandas que recebem das famílias e o quão preparados se sentem para enfrentar essa realidade. Foi utilizado método qualitativo, exploratório e transcultural, a partir da técnica do Grupo Focal, sendo conduzido um grupo no Brasil (10 participantes) e um no Uruguai (9 participantes). Em ambos os grupos, os participantes foram mulheres, com experiência nas redes pública e privada. Os dados foram tratados a partir da técnica de Análise de Conteúdo e os resultados apontaram dois temas principais: Formação Acadêmica e Demandas das Famílias. A análise evidenciou inúmeras semelhanças na relação que a família e a escola estabelecem na prática diária - tanto no Brasil quanto no Uruguai - especialmente no que diz respeito ao papel docente. Observou-se a dificuldade dos professores em delimitar seu papel para si e para as famílias. Os professores também se mostraram com poucos recursos para trabalhar com a diversidade de demandas familiares e é possível pensar que eles se beneficiariam de espaços de reflexão e desenvolvimento de sensibilidade para poder discriminar essas demandas. Assim, pode-se dizer que é necessário inaugurar uma discussão profunda sobre o que significa formar os professores para o trabalho com as famílias.ResumenEl papel de los docentes se ha transformado en los últimos años debido a las exigencias y responsabilidades educativas cada vez más complejas que derivan de las familias de sus alumnos. El objetivo de este estudio consistió en investigar cómo docentes de educación primaria de Brasil y Uruguay perciben y evalúan las demandas que reciben de las familias y cuán preparados se sienten para enfrentar esa realidad. El diseño fue cualitativo, exploratorio y transcultural, utilizando la técnica de Grupo Focal, siendo uno brasileño (10 participantes) y uno uruguayo (9 participantes). En ambos grupos los participantes fueron mujeres, con experiencia tanto en la red pública como privada. Los datos fueron tratados con Análisis de Contenido y los resultados apuntaron a dos grandes temas: Formación Académica y Demandas de las Familias. El análisis permite comprobar innumerables semejanzas en la relación que familia y escuela establecen en la práctica cotidiana tanto en Brasil como en el Uruguay, sobre todo en lo que se refiere al rol docente. Se observa la dificultad que las docentes expresaron en cuanto a delimitar su papel frente a si mismas y frente a las familias. También las docentes se mostraron con pocos recursos para trabajar con la diversidad de las demandas familiares y es posible pensar que se beneficiarían de espacios de reflexión y desarrollo de la sensibilidad para poder discriminar tales demandas. Así, se puede decir que se necesita abrir una discusión profunda sobre lo que significa formar a los docentes para el trabajo con las familias. Keywords: Family school relationship, Preservice teachers, Cross Cultural Studies.Palavras-chave: Relação família-escola, Formação docente, Demandas familiares, Estudo transcultural.Palabras clave: Relación escuela-familia, Formación docente, Demandas familiares, Estudio transcultural.ReferencesANDRES, Sergio; GIRO, Joaquín. El papel y la representación del profesorado en la participación de las familias en la escuela. Revista Electrónica Interuniversitaria de Formación del Profesorado, Zaragoza, v.19, n.1, 61-71, 2016. URL: http://revistas.um.es/reifop/article/view/245461/189131AZPILLAGA, Verónica; INTXAUSTI, Nahia; JOARISTI, Luis Maria. Implicacion de las familias en los centros escolares de alta eficacia en la Comunidad Autónoma Vasca. Bordón: Revista de Pedagogía, Bordón, v.66, n.3, 27-38, 2014. URL: https://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/articulo?codigo=4748791BAEZA, Silvia. El imprescindible puente Familia-Escuela. Estrategias e intervenciones psicopedagógicas. Buenos Aires: Aprendizaje Hoy, 2009, 320p.BARRERA, Patricia. Los deberes escolares y tareas en casa: exploración sobre los objetivos para los que son enviados y su cumplimiento. 2008. Memorial Final de Post-graduación en Psicología Educacional (Post-graduación en Psicología) - Universidad Católica del Uruguay, Montevideo, Uruguay, 2008.BRONFENBRENNER, Urie. Strengthening family systems. En: ZIGLER, Edward F.; FRANK, Meryl. (Eds.) The parental leave crisis: toward a national policy. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998.BRONFENBRENNER, Urie; EVANS, Gary W. Developement science in the 21st. Century: Emerging questions, Theoretical Models, Research Designs and Empirical Findings. Social Development, Malden-USA, v.9, n.1, 115-125, 2000.CARVALHO, Maria Eulina P. Modos de Educação, Gênero e Relações Escola-Família. Cadernos de Pesquisa, São Paulo, v. 34, n. 121, 41-58, jan./abr. 2004. URL: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-15742004000100003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=ptCAVALCANTE, Roseli S. C. Colaboração entre pais e escola: educação abrangente. Psicologia Escolar e Educacional, Campinas, v.2, n.2, 153-160, 1998. URL: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1413-85571998000200009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=ptCLARKE, David; HOLLINGSWORTH, Hilary. Elaborating a model of teacher professional growth. Teaching and Teacher Education, v. 18, 947-967, 2002. URL: https://www.deepdyve.com/lp/elsevier/elaborating-a-model-of-teacher-professional-growth-7H3jboIiAhCOMELLAS, Maria Jesus. Familia y escuela: compartir la educación. Barcelona: Grao, 2009, 149p.DELGADO, Juan Manuel; GUTIÉRREZ, Juan. Métodos y técnicos cualitativos de investigación en ciencias sociales. Madrid: Editorial Síntesis, 1995, 604p.DITRANO, Christine; SILVERSTEIN, Louise B. Listening to parents’ voices: participatory action research in the schools. Professional Psychology: research and practice, Washington-USA, v. 37, n. 4, 359-366, 2006.DOWLING, Emilia; OSBORNE, Elsie. Familia y escuela. Una aproximación conjunta y sistémica a los problemas infantiles. Barcelona: Paidos, 1996, 224p.EPSTEIN, Joyce. L. School, family, and community partnerships: preparing educators and improving schools. Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University: Westview Press, 2011, 656p.ESCAYOLA, Empar. Padres y educadores: un encuentro singular. En: ALFONSO, Carmen et al. (Eds). La participación de los padres y madres en la escuela (pp.73-78.) Barcelona: Editorial Grào, 2009, 155p.FINN STEVENSON, Matia. Family, school and community partnerships: practical strategies for after schools programs. New directions for youth development, n.144, 89-103, 2014.GARCIA-BACETE, F. J. Cómo son y cómo podrían ser las relaciones entre escuelas y familias en opinion del profesorado. Cultura y Educación, v.18, n. 3-4, 247-265, 2006.GERVILLA, Ángeles. Familia y educación familiar: conceptos clave, situación actual y valores. Madrid: Narcea, 2008, 208p. GONDIM, Sonia Maria G. Grupos focais como técnica de investigação qualitativa: desafios metodológicos. Paidéia: Cadernos de Psicologia e Educação, Ribeirão Preto, v. 12, n.24, 149-161, 2003. URL: http://www.scielo.br/pdf/paideia/v12n24/04.pdf HAINES, Shana J. et al. Fostering family school and community school partnerships in inclusive schools. Using practice as a guide. Research and Practice for persons with severe disabilities, v.40, n.3, 227-239, 2015.HILL, Nancy E.; TAYLOR, Lorraine C. Parental school involvement and children’s academic achievement. Current Directions in Psychological Science, Georgia Institute of Technology, v.13, n.4, 161-164, 2004.HORNBY, Garry; LAFAELE, Rayleen. Barriers to parental involvement in education: an explanatory model. Educational Review, London, v.63, n.1, 37-52, 2011.INSTITUTO NACIONAL DE EVALUACION EDUCATIVA. Informe sobre el estado de la Educación en Uruguay 2015-2016. Montevideo: INEED 2017.KOUTROUBA, Konstantina et al. An investigation of Greek teachers’ views on parental involvement in education. School Psychology International, v.30, n.3, 311-328, 2009. URL: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.977.7897&rep=rep1&type=pdfLONDOÑO, Laura Victoria; RAMIREZ, Luz Ángela. Construyendo relación familia-escuela: consideraciones a partir de la intervención interdisciplinaria en el Colegio Bello Oriente en Medellín, Colombia. Revista Virtual Universidad Católica del Norte, Colombia, n.36, 193-220, 2012. URL: http://revistavirtual.ucn.edu.co/index.php/RevistaUCN/article/view/375/712LÓPEZ LARROSA, S. La relación familia-escuela. Guía práctica para profesionales. Madrid: CCS, 2009.MARCELO, Carlos; VAILLANT, Denise. Desarrollo profesional docente ¿Cómo se aprende a enseñar? Madrid: Narcea, 2010, 170p.MARCONDES, Keila Hellen B.; SIGOLO, Sílvia Regina R. L. Comunicação e envolvimento: possibilidades de interconexões entre família-escola? Paidéia, Ribeirão Preto, v.22, n.51, 91-99, 2012. URL: http://www.scielo.br/pdf/paideia/v22n51/11.pdfMARTÍNEZ CERÓN, Ginés. Sombras y luces de la relación familia y escuela. En: Escudero Muñoz, Juan Manuel et al. (Eds.) Sistema educativo y democracia. Madrid: Octaedro, 2005, 168p.MORGADO, Beatriz; JIMENEZ-LAGARES, Irene; GONZÁLEZ, María del Mar. Ideas del profesorado de primaria acerca de la diversidad familiar. Cultura y Educación, Fundación Dialnet-España, v.21, n.4, 441-451, 2009.MORGAN, David L. Focus groups as qualitative research. California: Sage Publications, 1997, 88p.OLABUÉNAGA, José Ignácio R. Metodologia de la investigación cualitativa. Bilbao: Universidad de Deusto, 2012, 344p.OLIVEIRA, Dalila Andrade A. Reestruturação do trabalho docente: precarização e flexibilização. Educação e Sociedade, Campinas, v.25, n.89, 1127-1144, 2004. URL: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0101-73302004000400003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=ptOLIVEIRA, Cynthia B. E.; MARINHO ARAÚJO, Claisy M. A relação família-escola: intersecções e desafios. Estudos de Psicologia, Campinas, v.27, n.1,99-108, 2010. URL: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0103-166X2010000100012&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=ptPAULA, Andréia Cristina R. R.; NAVES, Marisa L. de P. O estresse e o bem-estar docente. Revista Educação Profissional, Rio de Janeiro, v.36, n.1, 61-71, 2010.PERERA, Héctor; BERTONI, Elba; CONTERA, Cristina. Modelos de formación docente en Uruguay. Estudios de três casos. Educação, Porto Alegre, v.57, n.3, 461-486, 2005. URL: http://revistaseletronicas.pucrs.br/ojs/index.php/faced/article/view/427/323PERRENOUD, Philippe. Diez nuevas competencias para enseñar. España: Grao, 2004, 168p.PERRENOUD, Philippe. La formación del profesorado: un compromiso entre visiones inconciliables de la coherencia. Revista Interuniversitaria de Formación del Profesorado, Espanha, v.68, n.24/2, 103-122, 2010. URL: http://aufop.com/aufop/uploaded_files/articulos/1279237044.pdfPETRICONE CHIARILLI, Francesco. La familia de origen del docente: estilo educativo y aspectos relacionados con su ejercicio profesional. En.: RÍOS GONZÁLEZ, Jose Antonio. (Ed.) Personalidad, madurez humana y contexto familiar. Madrid: CCS, 2009, 1114p.POLONIA, Ana da C.; DESSEN, Maria Auxiliadora. Em busca de uma compreensão das Relações entre família e escola. Psicologia Escolar e Educacional, Maringá, v.9, n.2, 303- 312, 2005. URL: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1413-85572005000200012&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=ptRÍOS GONZÁLEZ, Jose Antonio. La educación como contexto interactivo: el encuentro familia-centro educativo. En: RÍOS GONZÁLEZ, Jose Antonio. (Ed.) Personalidad, madurez humana y contexto familiar. Madrid: CCS, 2009, 1114p.RIVAS, Sonia; UGARTE, Carolina. Formación docente y cultura participativa del centro educativo: claves para favorecer la participación familia-escuela. Estudios sobre educación, Navarra, v.27, 153-168, 2014. URL: https://www.unav.edu/publicaciones/revistas/index.php/estudios-sobre-educacion/article/view/490/357RIVERA, Maritza; MILICIC, Neva. Alianza Familia-Escuela: percepciones, creencias, expectativas y aspiraciones de padres y profesores de enseñanza general básica. Psykhe, Santiago, v.15, n.1, 119-135, 2006. URL: http://www.scielo.cl/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0718-22282006000100010SANTOS, Miguel; GODAS, Augustín; LORENZO, Mar. ¿Puede la implicación de los padres mejorar el estudio de sus hijos en la escuela? La evidencia de un programa pedagógico. Estudios sobre educación, Navarra, v.30, 9-30, 2016. URL: http://www.unav.edu/publicaciones/revistas/index.php/estudios-sobre-educacion/article/view/4800/4126SARAIVA, Lisiane A.; WAGNER, Adriana. A relação Família-Escola sob a ótica de professores e pais de crianças que frequentam o Ensino Fundamental. Ensaio: avaliação e políticas públicas em Educação, Rio de Janeiro, v.21, n.81, 739-772, 2013. URL: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0104-40362013000400006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=pt SIMPLÍCIO, Sandra D.; ANDRADE, Márcia S. Compreendendo a questão da saúde dos professores da rede pública municipal de São Paulo. Psico, Porto Alegre, v.42, n.2, 159-167, 2011. URL: http://revistaseletronicas.pucrs.br/ojs/index.php/revistapsico/article/view/7566/6517 VÁZQUEZ HUERTAS, C.; LÓPEZ-LARROSA, S. Creencias sobre la relación familia-escuela. Cambios en el futuro profesorado tras recibir formación específica. Revista de Estudios e Investigación en Psicología y Educación, v.1, n.2, 111-121, 2014.VILA, Ignasi. Familia y escuela: dos contextos y un solo niño. En: ALFONSO, Carmen C. et al. (Eds.). La participación de los padres y madres en la escuela. Barcelona: Editorial Grào, 2003, 155p. WAGNER, Adriana; TRONCO, Cristina; ARMANI, Ananda B. Introdução – Os Desafios da Família Contemporânea: Revisitando Conceitos. En.: Wagner, Adriana e cols. (Eds.) Desafios Psicossociais da Família Contemporânea: pesquisas e reflexões. Porto Alegre: Artmed, 2011, 208p.

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Kihm, Christophe. "Sonic Youth etc. : Sensational Fix." Critique d’art, no.34 (September1, 2009). http://dx.doi.org/10.4000/critiquedart.458.

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Kihm, Christophe. "Sonic Youth etc: Sensational Fix." Critique d’art, no.34 (September1, 2009). http://dx.doi.org/10.4000/critiquedart.461.

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Stewart Rose, Leslie, and June Countryman. "When youth musicking is play." Research Studies in Music Education, November18, 2020, 1321103X2093638. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1321103x20936380.

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Wondering if there is more to learn from youth’s descriptions of the importance of music in their lives, the authors interviewed 35 youth (aged 12–22 years) using a constructivist grounded theory approach. The data analysis process led to the realization that youth were often describing episodes of play. The researchers synthesized essential characteristics of play from the scholarly play literature and particularized these characteristics with extracts from the interview conversations. The goal became to describe the play in youth musicking. The authors’ framework of musick-play reflects the interconnectedness of (a) conditions that constitute a musick-play-place; (b) sonic, and social processes that illuminate instances of youth musick-play and that highlight the centrality of self-caring in that play; (c) experiences that foster autonomy, competence, and relatedness (self-determination theory); and (d) opportunities for well-being. This framework is intended as a heuristic for those who seek to understand youth musicking through the lens of play.

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Jiménez Pérez, María José. "10 Años de una performance flamenca: Morente y Sonic Youth en el CA2M." UCOARTE. Revista de Teoría e Historia del Arte, December7, 2020, 106–24. http://dx.doi.org/10.21071/ucoarte.v9i.13163.

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El año 2010 fue significativo para el flamenco: entraba a formar parte de la Lista Representativa del Patrimonio Cultural Inmaterial de la UNESCO y cerraba un episodio esencial con la muerte de Enrique Morente, quien el 2 de febrero nos legaría un hecho singular al protagonizar, junto a dos miembros de Sonic Youth, una performance inusual en el Centro de Arte 2 de mayo de Móstoles, donde flamenco “primitivo” y Nuevo Flamenco dialogan con el rock experimental de la banda neoyorquina.

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Heetderks, David. "What Happens after the Primal Burn? Dissonance in Sonic Youth’s Middle Period." Music Theory Online 26, no.1 (March 2020). http://dx.doi.org/10.30535/mto.26.1.3.

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Sonic Youth originated in No Wave, a movement from the late 1970s and early 1980s that reduced rock to minimal gestures and explored extremes of noise. In the mid-1980s, Sonic Youth’s style changed as they began to incorporate guitar parts that were reminiscent of 1970s hard rock. But their experimental tendencies persisted through this change, because they overlaid the parts in ways that created incongruity and tweaked hard-rock stylistic features in order to create dissonance or tonal conflict. Sonic Youth’s strategies for twisting hard-rock norms into clashing harmonies often follow one of two recurring types. The first, tonic divergence, occurs when separate lines have phase-mismatched tonic harmonies. The second, intervallic dissonance, occurs when instrumental lines are arranged in order to highlight harshly dissonant intervals or chromatic clusters. In many songs, their dissonant counterpoint works in tandem with their characteristic noisy guitar timbres by occurring in alternation, forcing listeners to continually re-evaluate how they perceive a song as a standard rock track. The analyses show how the band continued to experiment within popular style and created types of dissonance that influenced 1980s–1990s guitar-based indie rock.

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Akiyama, Mitchell. "Silent Alarm: The Mosquito Youth Deterrent and the Politics of Frequency." Canadian Journal of Communication 35, no.3 (August19, 2010). http://dx.doi.org/10.22230/cjc.2010v35n3a2261.

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ABSTRACT The Mosquito is an ultrasonic device that uses sound to deter young people from loitering. The sound it emits is inaudible to most people over the age of 25 but is intolerable to those younger. By emitting this sound, the Mosquito stratifies space through sonic frequency and creates zones that are inhospitable to young people. Although the device has been marketed as a benign means of controlling space, the author argues that the Mosquito causes pain and therefore constitutes a weaponization of sound. Not only does the Mosquito threaten to deepen an already perceived rift between young people and adults, it abets the very notion of youth and adulthood as biologically different categories.RÉSUMÉ Le Mosquito est un appareil ultrasonique qui utilise le son de manière à dissuader les jeunes gens de la flânerie. Le son qu’il émet est inaudible pour la plupart des gens âgés de vingt-cinq ans et plus, mais s’avère insupportable pour toute personne âgée de moins de vingt-cinq ans. En produisant son bruit, le Mosquito stratifie l’espace public par le biais de la fréquence sonore et crée ainsi des zones auditives inhospitalières pour les jeunes. Bien que cet appareil ait été étiqueté comme moyen bénin de contrôler l’espace, l’auteur avance que le Mosquito cause de la douleur et constitue de ce fait une forme de militarisation du son. Non seulement le Mosquito menace-t-il d’accentuer un écart déjà perçu entre les jeunes et les adultes, il encourage la définition des notions de jeunesse et d’âge adulte comme deux catégories biologiquement différentes.

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Daspit, Toby. "The Noisy Mix of Hip Hop Pedagogies." M/C Journal 4, no.2 (April1, 2001). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1901.

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"(W)hen you look at the historic angle of what’s going on, DJ culture is the future, everything is a mix. Whether it’s video, electronic sh*t, studio sh*t, painting, you name it, the psychology is in place. It’s the DJ." – Paul D. Miller, AKA DJ Spooky, qtd. in Tobin "Turn it up! Bring the noise." – Public Enemy, "Bring the Noise "Turn down that damned noise!!!" Thus began the nightly negotiation with my father during my adolescence — him firmly rooted in his recliner as he stared at the television, me locked in my bedroom, fingers nudging the stereo knobs to experiment with acceptable volumes. It was never, "turn down the music," or "lower that Boogie Down Productions album," it was always, "turn down that damned noise!!!" I hear his words echoed daily in the attitudes of many of the pre-service teachers that I work with as they navigate the tumultuous maelstrom of education in postmodern culture. Perhaps my students merely reveal legacies of their own educational experiences, or perhaps they embody the transitional dissonance of an epochal shift. Regardless of the "origin" of their discomfort, they seem to turn to those of us engaged in preparing them as teachers to sanitise the "mess" they encounter in schools. They desire Skinnerian behaviorist reductionism (if "x" then "y"). They seek to tame the "noise" of the extraordinarily complex endeavor of teaching and learning. I fiddle with the volume knob of my own teaching, crank it up, and offer them hip hop pedagogies.1 By hip hop pedagogies I do not mean simply the inclusion of hip hop culture (e.g., DJing, rapping, graffiti art, dancing) as objects of study in the classroom, although these are indeed worthwhile curricular considerations. Instead of dominant modes of schooling which are informed by a factory model of efficiency and knowledge transmission (Adams et al.), I suggest a fundamental reorientation to pedagogies guided by the aesthetics of hip hop culture, particularly the power of recombinant textuality embodied in hip hop’s "noisy mix." Dick Hebdige locates the origins, as diffuse as they are, of hip hop music in the fundamental nature of the mix, noting that "(r)ap is DJ (disc jockey) and MC (Master of Ceremonies or Microphone Controller) music . . . (I)t relies on pre-recorded sounds. . . . The hip hoppers "stole" music off air and cut it up. Then they broke it down into its component parts and remixed it on tape" (141). Paul Miller identifies the possibilities inherent in such processes: DJ culture – urban youth culture – is all about recombinant potential. It has as a central feature a eugenics of the imagination. Each and every source is fragmented and bereft of prior meaning – kind of like a future without a past. The samples are given meaning only when re-presented in the assemblage of the mix (7) In hip hop, mixing occurs within discursive realities of "noise." Tricia Rose notes that the "sonic power" of hip hop, with its "distinctive bass-heavy, enveloping sound does not rest outside of its musical and social power" (63). She summarizes the significance of this sonic barrage: "Noise" on the one hand and communal countermemory on the other, rap music conjures and razes in one stroke. Rap's rhythms . . . are its most powerful effect. Rap's primary focus is sonic . . . Rap music centers on the quality and nature of rhythm and sound, the lowest, "fattest beats" being the most significant and emotionally charged . . . The arrangement and selection of sounds rap musicians have invented via samples, turntables, tape machines, and sound systems are at once deconstructive (in that they actually take apart recorded musical compositions) and recuperative (because they recontextualise these elements creating new meanings for cultural sounds that have been relegated to commercial wastebins) . . . (64-65 Herein lies one of the most transformative possibilities of hip hop pedagogies – the model it offers as a recombinant text, as a mix. Miller explains: It is in this singularly improvisational role of "recombiner" that the DJ creates what I like to call a "post symbolic mood sculpture," or the mix; a disembodied and transient text . . . The implications of this style of creating art are three fold: 1) by its very nature it critiques the entire idea of intellectual property and copyright law, 2) it reifies a communal art value structure in contrast to most forms of art in late capitalist social contexts, 3) it interfaces communications technology in a manner that anthropomorphisizes it. (12-13 If we were to begin thinking of our classrooms/schools as a mix, as recombinant, fluid texts where the copyrighting privilege of authority in the guise of "teacher" is challenged, where the entire process of teaching and learning becomes communal, and where human/technological cyborgs are valued, we can see how hip hop pedagogies might be transformative. The classroom might become, in my favorite image of postmodern education that William Doll borrows from Milan Kundera and Richard Rorty, a "fascinating imaginative realm where no one owns the truth and everyone has the right to be understood" (151). Such pedagogical orientations toward the mix invite students to reject modernist attempts to channel and control learning – to "school" the body and mind. Instead, as Potter notes, "hip-hop aims for a world made hole, aporic, fracturing the fragmented, graffiti on graffiti" (8, emphasis in original). Instead of the master narratives of modernity, it "offers us a model . . . as it produces knowledge in the active consumption of the everyday materials the world makes available . . . it is a work which instructs in its process, indeed, by its process" (Block 339). Is this not a better way to envision our work in schools, which Pinar et al. see as ultimately an engagement with larger conversations of what it means to prepare the next generation (847)? Such mixing infuses life into pedagogies as meanings are reassembled, and acknowledges a "new paradigm" that does "not necessarily require new data, but rather (is) characterized by clever and substantively different ways of recasting what we already know" (Samples 187). "The previous meanings," Miller concludes, are "corralled into a space where the differences in time, place, and culture, are collapsed to create a recombinant text or autonomous zone of expression" (14). Hip hop pedagogies offer such "zones" of hybrid selves, hybrid cultures, and hybrid conversations that are recombined continually through collisions with cultures, histories, and technologies. So that’s the noisy mix I share with my students as most salient to postmodern education – cacophonous, turbulent, and sure to infuriate my father, even now. Notes 1. I follow Gore in her use of the plural form of pedagogy: "(Pedagogies) use is important to signify the multiple approaches and practices that fall under the pedagogy umbrella" whereas "rely(ing) on the singular form is to imply greater unity and coherence than is warranted" (7). References Adams, Natalie et al. Learning to Teach: A Critical Approach to Field Experiences. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1998. Block. Alan. (1998). "Curriculum as Affichiste: Popular Culture and Identity." Curriculum: Toward New Identities. Ed. William F. Pinar. New York: Garland, 325-341. Doll, William E., Jr. A Postmodern Perspective on Curriculum. New York: Teachers College, 1993. Gore, J. The Struggle for Pedagogies: Critical and Feminist Discourses as Regimes of Truth. New York: Routledge, 1993. Hebdige, Dick. Cut-n-Mix: Culture, Identity and Caribbean Music. London: Methuen, 1987. Miller, Paul D. "Flow My Blood the DJ Said." Liner notes from Song of a Dead Dreamer. New York: Asphodel, 1995. Pinar, William F. et al. Understanding Curriculum: An Introduction to the Study of Historical and Contemporary Curriculum Discourses. New York: Peter Lang, 1995. Potter Russell A. Spectacular Vernaculars: Hip-Hop and the Politics of Postmodernism. Albany: SUNY, 1995. Public Enemy. It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back. New York: Def Jam Recordings, 1988. Rose, Tricia. Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America. Hanover, N.H.: UP of New England, 1994. Samples, Bob. "Learning as Transformation." Education, Information, and Transformation: Essays on Learning and Thinking. Ed. Jeffrey Kane. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Merrill, 1999. Tobin, Sam. "Permutations: A Conversation with Paul D. Miller, AKA DJ Spooky." Digress Magazine. [12, March 2001].<http://www.digressmagazine.com/1spooky.php>

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Brabazon, Tara, and Stephen Mallinder. "Off World Sounds: Building a Collaborative Soundscape." M/C Journal 9, no.2 (May1, 2006). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2617.

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There are many ways to construct, shape and frame a history of popular music. From a focus on performers to a stress on cities, from theories of modernity to reveling in ‘the post,’ innovative music has been matched by evocative writing about it. One arc of analysis in popular music studies focuses on the record label. Much has been written about Sun, Motown, Factory and Apple, but there are many labels that have not reached this level of notoriety and fame but offer much to our contemporary understanding of music, identity and capitalism. The aim of this article is to capture an underwritten history of 21st century music, capturing and tracking moments of collaboration, movement and contact. Through investigating a specific record label, we explore the interconnectiveness of electronica and city-based creative industries’ initiatives. While urban dance culture is still pathologised through drug scares and law and order concerns, clubbing studies and emerging theories of sonic media and auditory cultures offer a significant trigger and frame for this current research. The focus on Off World Sounds (OWS) traces a meta-independent label that summons, critiques, reinscribes and provokes the conventional narratives of capitalism in music. We show how OWS has remade and remixed the collaborations of punk to forge innovative ways of thinking about creativity, policy and popular culture. While commencing with a review of the origin, ideology and intent of OWS, the final part of the paper shows where the experiment went wrong and what can be learnt from this sonic label laboratory. Moving Off World Popular cultural studies evoke and explore discursive formations and texts that activate dissent, conflict and struggle. This strategy is particularly potent when exploring how immigration narratives fray the borders of the nation state. At its most direct, this analysis provides a case study to assess and answer some of Nabeel Zuberi’s questions about sonic topography that he raises in Sounds English. I’m concerned less with music as a reflection of national history and geography than how the practices of popular music culture themselves construct the spaces of the local, national, and transnational. How does the music imagine the past and place? How does it function as a memory-machine, a technology for the production of subjective and collective versions of location and identity? How do the techniques of sounds, images, and activities centered on popular music create landscapes with figures? (3) Dance music is mashed between creativity, consumerism and capitalism. Picking up on Zuberi’s challenge, the story of OWS is also a history of what happens to English migrants who travel to Australia, and how they negotiate the boundaries of the Australian nation. Immigration is important to any understanding of contemporary music. The two proprietors of OWS are Pete Carroll and, one of the two writers of this current article, Stephen Mallinder. Both English proprietors immigrated to Perth in Australia. They used their contacts to sign electronica performers from beyond this single city. They encouraged the tracks to move freely through lymphatic digital networks for remixing—‘lymphatic’ signalling a secondary pathway for commerce and creativity where new musical relationships were being formed outside the influence of major record companies. Performers signed to OWS form independent networks with other performers. This mobility of sound has operated in parallel with the immigration policies of the Howard government that have encouraged insularity and xenophobia. In other eras of racial inequality and discrimination, the independent record label has been not only an integral part of the music industry, but a springboard for political dissent. The histories of jazz and rhythm and blues capture a pivotal moment of independent entrepreneurialism that transformed new and strange sounds/noises into popular music. In monitoring and researching this complex process of musical movement and translation, the independent label has remained the home of the peripheral, the misunderstood, and the uncompromising. Soul music in the United States of America is an example of a sonic form that sustained independence while corporate labels made a profit. Labels like Atlantic Records became synonymous with the success of black vocal music in the 1960s and 1970s, while the smaller independent labels like Chess and Invicta constructed a brand identity. While the division between the majors and the independents increasingly dissolves, particularly at the level of distribution, the independent label remains significant as innovator and instigator. It retains its status and pedagogic function in teaching an audience about new sounds and developing aural literacies. OWS inked its well from an idealistic and collaborative period of label evolution. The punk aesthetic of the late 1970s not only triggered wide-ranging implications for youth culture, but also opened spaces for alternative record labels and label identity. Rough Trade was instrumental in imbuing a spirit of cooperation and a benign mode of competition. A shift in the distribution of records and associated merchandizing to strengthen product association—such as magazines, fanzines and T-Shirts—enabled Rough Trade to deal directly with pivotal stores and outlets and then later establish cartels with stores to provide market security and a workable infrastructure. Links were built with ancillary agents such as concert promoters, press, booking agents, record producers and sleeve designers, to create a national, then European and international, network to produce an (under the counter) culture. Such methods can also be traced in the history of Postcard Records from Edinburgh, Zoo Records from Liverpool, Warp in Sheffield, Pork Recordings in Hull, Hospital Records in London, and both Grand Central and Factory in Manchester. From the ashes of the post-1976 punk blitzkrieg, independent labels bloomed with varying impact, effect and success, but they held an economic and political agenda. The desire was to create a strong brand identity by forming a tight collaboration between artists and distributors. Perceptions of a label’s size and significance was enhanced and enlarged through this collaborative relationship. OWS acknowledged and rewrote this history of the independent label. There was a desire to fuse the branding of the label with the artists signed, released and distributed. No long term obligations on behalf of the artists were required. A 50/50 split after costs was shared. While such an ‘agreement’ appeared anachronistic, it was also a respectful nod to the initial label/artist split offered by Rough Trade. Collaboration with artists throughout the process offered clear statements of intent, with idealism undercut by pragmatism. From track selection, sleeve design, promotion strategy and interview schedule, the level of communication created a sense of joint ownership and dialogue between label and artist. This reinscription of independent record history is complex because OWS’ stable of performers and producers is an amalgamation of dub, trance, hip hop, soul and house genres. Much of trans-localism of OWS was encouraged by its base in Perth. Metaphorically ‘off world’, Perth is a pad for international music to land, be remixed, recut and re-released. Just as Wellington is the capital of Tolkien’s Middle Earth as well as New Zealand, Perth is a remix capital for Paris or New York-based performers. The brand name ‘Off World Sounds’ was designed to emphasise isolation: to capture the negativity of isolation but rewrite separation and distinctiveness with a positive inflection. The title was poached from Ridley Scott’s 1980s film Bladerunner, which was in turn based on Philip K. Dick’s story, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” Affirming this isolation summoned an ironic commentary on Perth’s geographical location, while also mocking the 1980s discourses of modernity and the near future. The key was to align punk’s history of collaboration with this narrative of isolation and independence, to explore mobility, collaboration, and immigration. Spaces in the Music Discussions of place dictate a particular methodology to researching music. Dreams of escape and, concurrently, intense desires for home pepper the history of popular music. What makes OWS important to theories of musical collaboration is that not only was there a global spread of musicians, producers and designers, but they worked together in a series of strategic trans-localisms. There were precedents for disconnecting place and label, although not of the scale instigated by OWS. Fast Products, although based in Glasgow, signed The Human League from Sheffield and Gang of Four from Leeds. OWS was unique in signing artists disconnected on a global scale, with the goal of building collaborations in remixing and design. Gripper, from the north east of England, Little Egypt from New York, The Bone Idle from Vienna, Hull and Los Angeles, Looped for Pleasure from Sheffield, Barney Mullhouse from Australia and the United Kingdom, Ooblo from Manchester, Attache from Adelaide, Crackpot from Melbourne and DB Chills from Sydney are also joined by artists resident in Perth, such as Soundlab, the Ku-Ling Bros and Blue Jay. Compact Disc mastering is completed in Sydney, London, and Perth. The artwork for vinyl and CD sleeves, alongside flyers, press advertising and posters, is derived from Manchester, England. These movements in the music flattened geographical hierarchies, where European and American tracks were implicitly valued over Australian-derived material. Through pop music history, the primary music markets of the United Kingdom and United States made success for Australian artists difficult. Off World emphasised that the product was not licensed. It was previously unreleased material specifically recorded for the label and an exclusive Australian first territory release. Importantly, this licensing agreement also broadened definitions and interpretations of ‘Australian music’. Such a critique and initiative was important. For example, Paul Bodlovich, Director of the West Australian Music Industry (WAM), believed he was extending the brief of his organisation during his tenure. Once more though, rock was the framework, structure and genre of interest. Explaining the difference from his predecessor, he stated that: [James Nagy] very much saw the music industry as being only bands who were playing all original music—to him they were the only people who actually constituted the music industry. I have a much broader view on that, that all those other people who are around the band—the manager, the promoters, the labels, the audio guys, the whole shebang—that they are part of the music industry too. (33) Much was absent from his ‘whole shebang,’ including the fans who actually buy the music and attend the pubs and clubs. A diversity of genres was also not acknowledged. If hip hop, and urban music generally, is added to his list of new interests, then clubs, graf galleries, dance instructors and fashion and jewelry designers could extend the network of musical collaborations. A parody of corporate culture and a pastiche of the post-punk aesthetic, OWS networked and franchised itself into existence. It was a cottage industry superimposed onto a corporate infrastructure. Attempting to make inroads into an insular Perth arts community and build creative industries’ networks without state government policy support, Off World offered an optimistic perspective on the city’s status and value in a national and global electronic market. Yet in commercial terms, OWS failed. What OWS captures through its failures conveys more about music policy in Australia than any success. The label has been able to catalogue the lack of changes to Perth’s music policy. The proprietors, performers and designers were not approached in 2002 by the Western Australian Contemporary Music Taskforce to offer comment. Yet Matthew Benson and Poppy Wise, researchers for that report, stated that “the solution lies in the industry becoming more outwardly focused, and to do this, it must seek the input of successful professionals who have proven track records in the marketing of music nationally and globally” (9). The resultant document argued that the industry needed to the look to Sydney and Melbourne for knowledge of “international” markets. Yet Paul Bodlovich, the Director of WAM, singled out the insularity of ‘England,’ not Britain, and ‘America’ in comparison to the ‘outward’ Perth music industry: To us, they’re all centre of the universe, but they don’t look past their walls, they don’t have a clue what goes in other parts of the world … All they see say in England is English TV, or in America it’s American TV. Whereas we sit in a very isolated part of the world and we absorb culture from everywhere because we think we have to just to be on an equal arc with everyone else. We think we have to absorb stuff from other cultures because unless we do then we really are isolated … It’s a similar belief to the ongoing issue of women in the workplace, where there’s a belief that to be seen on equal footing you have to be better. (33) This knight’s move affiliation of Perth’s musicians with women in the workplace is bizarre and inappropriate. This unfortunate connection is made worse when recognizing that Perth’s music institutions and organisations, such as WAM, are dominated by white, Australian-born men. To promote the outwardness of Perth culture while not mentioning the role and function of immigration is not addressing how mobility, creativity and commerce is activated. To unify ‘England’ and ‘America,’ without recognizing the crucial differences between Manchester and Bristol, New York and New Orleans, is conservative, arrogant, and wrong. National models of music, administered by Australian-born white men and funded through grants-oriented peer review models rather than creative industries’ infrastructural initiatives, still punctuate Western Australian music. Off World Sounds has been caught in non-collaborative, nationalist models for organising culture and economics. It is always easy to affirm the specialness and difference of a city’s sound or music. While affirming the nation and rock, outsiders appear threatening to the social order. When pondering cities and electronica, collaboration, movement and meaning dance through the margins. References Benson, Matthew, and Poppy Wise. A Study into the Current State of the Western Australian Contemporary Music Industry and Its Potential for Economic Growth. Department of Culture and the Arts, Government of Western Australia, December 2002. Bodlovich, Paul. “Director’s Report.” X-Press 940 (17 Feb. 2005): 33. Zuberi, Nabeel. Sounds English: Transnational Popular Music. Urbana: U of Illinois P, 2001. Citation reference for this article MLA Style Brabazon, Tara, and Stephen Mallinder. "Off World Sounds: Building a Collaborative Soundscape." M/C Journal 9.2 (2006). echo date('d M. Y'); ?> <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0605/13-brabazonmallinder.php>. APA Style Brabazon, T., and S. Mallinder. (May 2006) "Off World Sounds: Building a Collaborative Soundscape," M/C Journal, 9(2). Retrieved echo date('d M. Y'); ?> from <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0605/13-brabazonmallinder.php>.

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Smith, Sean Aylward. "[ t o b e a n d t o h a v e ]." M/C Journal 2, no.5 (July1, 1999). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1778.

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I'll grow up some time then you'll be mine I want to screw you down whilst my mind is on the ground I want to move your switch make you go squish my desiring machine -- Sonic Youth A small story: the other saturday night, having just completed my saturday ritual of visiting the video shop and the beer shop, I was sitting at a bus-stop. And it just so happens that on this saturday evening, the bus-stop I was sitting at was opposite a catholic church in the middle of the mass. Now, its been many years since I was a catholic -- I am in fact happily pagan -- however, I strongly identify with that well-known atheist and socialist (and co-incidentally, British Minister of Overseas Development) Clare Short, who nonetheless describes herself as 'culturally catholic' (as they say, 'once a catholic always a catholic'). And so, as I was sitting at this bus-stop, I found myself having the usual internal conversation I seem to have whenever I pass a catholic mass, in which I imagine I'm having to justify just why I'm not in there as well and why I think their beliefs are theoretically unsustainable and politically regressive. During this internal dialogue however, I realised that what the micks were doing in their mass -- that is, expressing a desire to connect with something outside of themselves -- was the same thing I did whenever I witnessed a sabbat or esbat, or visited a stone circle, fairy mound or burial barrow. Admittedly, whereas I achieve this experience of being with something outside myself through the earth, the sun, the moon, the passing of time, and my relationships with my friends and lovers, they did it through a submissive appeal to a fetishised figure of an alien God. And that this wasn't much different from or any worse than the mindless commodity fetishism practiced by so many materialists within our advanced industrialised economy. And all of this led me to speculate on just what the nature of desire is: that perhaps desire is the self's experience, within the self, of something outside of (or greater than) the self -- desire as theology, that is. If I can be a bit clearer: that perhaps desire is a recognition, not of a lack, but of the necessary and perpetual circulation across the threshold of the self -- if i can put it that way -- of the array of subjectless individuations that collectively constitute us as 'human'. This is not at all to suggest that desire is what makes us 'better', or that it is solely a positive thing -- and not simply because I refuse the implication that desiring to be with the Christian God can ever be positive. In formulating desire as a circulation of affects across the boundary of the self, I am explicitly refusing the narrative of original sin of the self, either in its Christian 'guilt' or psychoanalytic 'lack' manifestations that desire is often framed in. What I am suggesting here is that 'desire' is the name for that perpetual and spontaneous process of 'becoming' through which the self is continuously constructed and reconstructed, and that this process is by definition circulatory. The obvious analogy here is with meteorological phenomena, in particular frontal systems. The cold front that brings rain with it, and usually marked on the evening television weather forecasts with a thick, identifiable line, is in fact a fictional construct. It marks, in practice, a perpetual and spontaneous exchange of heat, through a thermodynamic process, between a relatively warmer body of air and a relatively colder one behind it. The front, so lively on the weather map, marching across the continent with martial purpose, in fact moves only as it is drawn by pressure differentials, by the rotation of the earth, and by the very process of heat exchange that it signifies. As a line, an interface, a boundary, the front is permeable, unstable, fractal and undefinable; an effect that becomes a metonym for the process it represents. Similarly, the thing we call 'the self' -- myself, yourself, themselves -- is an effect, an ever-shifting, fluid and variable effect of a circulation of affect that is called desire. This is not at all to suggest that desire is what makes us 'better', or that it is solely a positive thing -- and not simply because I refuse the implication that desiring to be with the Christian God can ever be positive. In formulating desire as a circulation of affects across the boundary of the self, I am explicitly refusing the narrative of original sin of the self, either in its Christian 'guilt' or psychoanalytic 'lack' manifestations that desire is often framed in. What I am suggesting here is that 'desire' is the name for that perpetual and spontaneous process of 'becoming' through which the self is continuously constructed and reconstructed, and that this process is by definition circulatory. The obvious analogy here is with meteorological phenomena, in particular frontal systems. The cold front that brings rain with it, and usually marked on the evening television weather forecasts with a thick, identifiable line, is in fact a fictional construct. It marks, in practice, a perpetual and spontaneous exchange of heat, through a thermodynamic process, between a relatively warmer body of air and a relatively colder one behind it. The front, so lively on the weather map, marching across the continent with martial purpose, in fact moves only as it is drawn by pressure differentials, by the rotation of the earth, and by the very process of heat exchange that it signifies. As a line, an interface, a boundary, the front is permeable, unstable, fractal and undefinable; an effect that becomes a metonym for the process it represents. Similarly, the thing we call 'the self' -- myself, yourself, themselves -- is an effect, an ever-shifting, fluid and variable effect of a circulation of affect that is called desire. In one sense this definition is almost a truism, because as Deleuze & Guattari make explicitly clear in A Thousand Plateaus, almost all formations can be described in some sense as fasiscular, and even the most rhizomatic formation can have aborescent knots. That is, the distinction between rhizomatic and aborescent schemas is not dualistic, there is "no ontological dualism between here and there, no axiological dualism between good and bad"; rather their relationship is processual: The important point is that the root-tree and canal-rhizome are not two opposed models: the first operates as a transcendent model and tracing, even if it engenders its own escapes; the second operates as an immanent process that overturns the model and outlines a map, even if it constitutes its own hierarchies, even if it gives rise to a despotic channel. ... No, this is not a new or different dualism. (Deleuze & Guattari 20) Thus, as Deleuze & Guattari are at pains to explain, what they call rhizomatic formations are neither better or worse than arborescent formations, nor are they two mutually exclusive, they are two different ways of organising and doing things which can each lead to the other or contain the other. In this sense, Probyn is not suggesting anything new to say that desire can be considered as rhizomatic, as engendering an uncountable array of unruly connections, because the possibility that anything might be thusly considered is contained within the princples of 'the rhizome' that Deleuze & Guattari provide. What I am suggesting however, is that desire is more than simply an excellent example of this processual movement between and across rhizomes and arborescences. For whilst the arborescent knots, the despotic formations of desire are readily apparent -- who isn't familiar with the disappointment that is an inevitable and integral part of commodity fetishism; the desolation of unrequited loves or the destructive capacity of satiated desires -- I am suggesting that desire is solely and strictly rhizomatic, and that as a rhizome that subverts, subtends and extends the self, it processually defines 'the human'. In his insightful commentary upon deleuzoguattarian philosophy entitled A User's Guide to Capitalism and Schizophrenia, Brian Massumi states that desire, "in its widest connotation" is the plane of consistency as multiple cocausal becoming ... on the human level, it is never a strictly personal affair, but a tension between sub- and superpersonal tendencies that intersect in the person as an empty signifier. (82) For Massumi then, desire is a profoundly anti-human, or more accurately nonhuman, process, whose operation has the effect of causing what he calls 'the person' to be precipitated. Desire is, therefore, the definition of the machinic auto-poiesis -- the immanent and pragmatic functioning of the process of becoming -- that generates each of us as human subjects. Contra Massumi however, I would suggest that the resultant effect of desire -- that is, the instantiation of the person -- is far from being an empty signifier, a precipitious by-product. Even the most inchoate desire, the most mute and directionless 'I want', articulates a connection beyond the self that carries within it an implicit enunciation of what the self might be. As Michel Foucault argued in a somewhat different context, the trangressing of a boundary by a productive process -- such as desire -- does not ipso facto circumvent that boundary or render it devoid of meaning, although it might have that effect; the function of crossing or trangressing a limit is to liminalise it, to re-inscribe it (for two differing examples, see Foucault, The History of Sexuality Volume 1 45, and Foucault, "Revolutionary Action: Until Now" 226). For although 'the person' does not pre-figure desire, and is in fact constituted and re-constituted through the operation of desire, it is neither an empty signifier nor a level playing field. "The word religion", says the French philosopher Michel Serres, could have two origins. According to the first, it would come from the Latin verb religare, to attach. Does religion bind us together, does it assure the bond of this world to another? According to the second ... it would mean to assemble, gather, lift up, traverse or read. (47) But, observes Serres, we are rarely told what sublime word our language opposes to the religious, in order to deny it: negligence. Whoever has no religion should not be called an atheist or unbeliever, but negligent. (48) The process, perpetual and spontaneous, of attachment to things, subjects, objects-multiplicities-outside of ourselves, whether it is to an unseeing God, the earth, one's friends, family and lovers or that funky new consumer durable, that we call desire, is what defines us as human. "Without love", says Serres "there are no ties or alliances" (49). Thus, the rhizomatic functioning of desire as a process of becoming continually produces, in a transversal fashion, the articulation of the self: we are each the product of desire. Desire, as a thermodynamic process, is thus the engine of 'the human', of a form of contingent humanism -- although a humanism that isn't simply limited to people: a becoming that liminalises the self through its incorporation of subjectless individuations beyond the self, within the self, through which the self is processually experienced and embodied. Whether it is the desire for the reified God, the becoming-another of the carnal and corporeal, the longing for the fetishised commodity or the 'I want to believe' of the search for extra-terrestrials, desire is the motive force that defines us as human, our raison d'être, our theology. And all this from sitting at a bus-stop. References Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Trans. Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1987. With foreword by Brian Massumi. Foucault, Michel. The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1: An Introduction. Trans. Robert Hurley. London: Penguin, 1978. Foucault, Michel. "Revolutionary Action: Until Now." Language, Counter-Memory, Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews by Michel Foucault. Ed. Donald Bouchard. New York: Cornell UP, 1977. Massumi, Brian. A User's Guide to Capitalism and Schizophrenia: Deviations from Deleuze and Guattari. A Swerve Edition. Cambridge, MA.: MIT P, 1992. Probyn, Elspeth. Outside Belongings. New York and London: Routledge, 1996. Serres, Michel. The Natural Contract. Trans. Elizabeth MacArthur and William Paulson. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 1995. Sonic Youth. "Female Mechanic on Duty." A Thousand Leaves. Compact Disc. Geffen, GEFD-25203, 1998. Citation reference for this article MLA style: Sean Aylward Smith. "[ t o b e a n d t o h a v e ]." M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2.5 (1999). [your date of access] <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9907/be.php>. Chicago style: Sean Aylward Smith, "[ t o b e a n d t o h a v e ]," M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2, no. 5 (1999), <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9907/be.php> ([your date of access]). APA style: Sean Aylward Smith. (1999) [ t o b e a n d t o h a v e ]. M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2(5). <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9907/be.php> ([your date of access]).

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Phillipov, Michelle. "“Just Emotional People”? Emo Culture and the Anxieties of Disclosure." M/C Journal 12, no.5 (December13, 2009). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.181.

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In an article in the Sunday Tasmanian shortly after the deaths of Melbourne teenagers Jodie Gater and Stephanie Gestier in 2007, Tasmanian Catholic Schools Parents and Friends Federation president Bill Button claimed: “Parents are concerned because all of a sudden their child, if they have access to a computer, can turn into an Emo” (qtd. in Vowles 1).For a few months in 2007, the dangers of emo and computer use were significant themes in Australian newspaper coverage. Emo, an abbreviation of the terms “emocore” or “emotional hardcore”, is a melodic subgenre of punk rock music, characterised by “emotional” or personal themes. Its followers, who adopt a look that includes black stovepipe jeans, dyed black hair and side-parted long fringes, might merely have been one of the many “tribes” (Bennett 605) that characterise contemporary youth culture. However, over an approximately five-month period in 2007, the deaths of three teenagers in two separate incidents—the murder Carly Ryan in February and the suicides of Jodie Gater and Stephanie Gestier in April—were linked to the emo subculture and to the social networking site MySpace, both of which were presented as dangerous and worrying developments in contemporary youth culture.This paper explores the media discourse surrounding emo and social networking technologies via a textual analysis of key reports and commentary pieces published in major metropolitan and national newspapers around the times of the three deaths. Although only a small selection of the 140-odd articles published Australia-wide is discussed here, those selected are indicative of broader trends in the newspaper coverage, and offer a means of examining how these incidents were constructed and understood within mainstream media discourse.Moral panics in relation to youth music and subculture are not uncommon in the news and other media (Cohen; Goode and Ben-Yehuda; Redhead; Rose 124-145; Weinstein 245-263; Wright). Moral panics related to social networking technologies have also been subject to academic study (Hinduja and Patchin 126; Livingstone 395; Marwick). In these cases, moral panic is typically understood as a force of normalisation and social control. The media discourses surrounding the deaths of the three young women possessed many of the features of moral panic described in this literature, including a build-up of concern disproportionate to “real” risk of harm (see Goode and Ben-Yehuda 33-41). But while emo youth were sometimes constructed as a straightforward “folk devil” (Cohen 11) or “enemy” (Goode and Ben-Yehuda 31) in need of clear sanctions—or, alternatively, as victims of a clear folk devil or enemy—the “problem” of emo was also framed as a product of much broader problems of youth culture.Connections between emo, MySpace, the deaths of the three young women were only ever tenuously established in the news reports and commentaries. That the stories appeared to be ultimately concerned with a broader group of (non-subculturally affiliated) young people suggests that this coverage can be seen as symptomatic of what John Hartley describes—in the context of reporting on young people more generally—as a “profound uncertainty in the textual system of journalism about where the line that defines the boundary of the social should be drawn” (17). The result is a “cultural thinking-out-loud” (Hartley 17) in which broader cultural anxieties are expressed and explored, although they are not always clearly articulated. While there were some attempts in these reports and commentaries on the three “emo deaths” to both mobilise and express specific fears (such as the concern that computer access can turn a child “into an Emo”), the newspaper coverage also expressed broader anxieties about contemporary youth culture. These can be described as anxieties about disclosure.In the cases of Carly Ryan, Jodie Gater and Stephanie Gestier, these were disclosures that were seen as simultaneously excessive and inadequate. Specifically, the newspaper coverage focused on both the dangers of young people’s disclosures of traditionally private material, and the ways in which the apparent secrecy of these disclosures made them inaccessible to adult authorities who could otherwise have “done something” to prevent the tragedies from occurring.Although some of these concerns were connected to the specificities of emo subcultural expression—the “excessive” emotionality on display and the impenetrability of subcultural imagery respectively—they were on the whole linked to a broader problem in contemporary youth culture that was seen to apply to all young people, whether or not they were emo-identified. Specifically, the deaths of Carly Ryan, Jodie Gater and Stephanie Gestier provided opportunities for the expression of anxieties that the private lives of young people were becoming increasingly “unknowable” to adult authorities, and, hence, that youth culture itself was increasingly “unknowable”.The Case of Carly RyanIn February 2007, the body of 15-year-old Carly Ryan was found in Horseshoe Bay at Port Elliot, just south of Adelaide. Several weeks later, a 48-year-old man and his 17-year-old son were arrested for her murder. The murder trial began January 2009, with the case still continuing at the time of writing. In the early reports of her death, particularly in Adelaide’s Advertiser, Ryan’s MySpace page was the focus of much discussion, since the teenager was understood to have presented an image of herself on the site that left her vulnerable to predators, including to one of her alleged killers with whom she had been regularly communicating in the weeks leading up to her murder (Littlely, Salter, and Wheatley 4; Hunt 2; Wheatley 4).The main report in The Advertiser, described Ryan’s MySpace page as “bizarre” and as “paint[ing] a disturbing picture of a world of drugs and sex” (Littlely, Salter and Wheatley 4). Ryan was reported as listing her interests as “drugs, smoking, music and sex”, to have described herself as “bisexual”, and to have uploaded images of a “girl injecting herself, a woman with a crucifix rammed down her throat and a woman with her lips stitched together” (Littlely, Salter, and Wheatley 4).Attempts were made to link such “graphic” imagery to the emo subculture (Littlely, Salter, and Wheatley 1; see also O’Donohue 5). The imagery was seen as subcultural insofar as it was seen to reflect a “bizarre teenage ‘goth’ and ‘emo’ world” (Littlely, Salter, and Wheatley 1), a world constructed both as dangerous (in the sense that her apparent involvement in subcultural activities was presented as “disturbing” and something that put her at risk of harm) and impenetrable (in the sense that subcultural imagery was understood not simply as harmful but also as “bizarre”). This linking of Ryan’s death to the emo and goth subcultures was done despite the fact that it was never clearly substantiated that the teenager did indeed classify herself as either “emo” or “goth”, and despite the fact that such links were contested by Ryan’s friends and family (see: “Gothic Images” 15; Riches 15).The repeated linking, then, of Ryan’s death to her (largely unconfirmed) subcultural involvement can be seen as one way of containing the anxieties surrounding her apparently “graphic” and “inappropriate” online disclosures. That is, if such disclosures can be seen as the expressions of a minority subcultural membership, rather than a tendency characteristic of young people more generally, then the risks they pose may be limited only to subcultural youth. Such a view is expressed in comments like Bill Button’s about computer use and emo culture, cited above. Research, however, suggests that with or without subcultural affiliation, some young users of MySpace use the site to demonstrate familiarity with adult-oriented behaviours by “posting sexually charged comments or pictures to corroborate their self-conception of maturity”—irrespective of whether these reflect actual behaviours offline (Hinduja and Patchin 136, 138). As such, this material is inevitably a construction rather than a straightforward reflection of identity (Liu).On the whole, Ryan’s death was presented as simultaneously the product of a dangerous subcultural affiliation, and an extreme case of the dangers posed by unsupervised Internet use to all young people, not just to those emo-identified. For example, the Sunday Mail article “Cyber Threat: The New Place Our Kids Love to Play” warned of the risks of disclosing too much personal information online, suggesting that all young people should restrict access to private information only to people that they know (Novak 12).Such reports reflect a more widespread concern, identified by Marwick, that social networking sites lower cultural expectations around privacy and encourage young people to expose more of their lives online, hence making them vulnerable to potential harm (see also De Souza and Dick; Hinduja and Patchin). In the case of Carly Ryan, the concern that too much (and inappropriate) online disclosure poses dangers for young people is also subtended by anxieties that the teenager and her friends also did not disclose enough information—or, at least, did not disclose in a way that could be made comprehensible and accessible to adult authorities.As a result, the so-called “graphic” material on Ryan’s MySpace page (and on the pages of her friends) was described as both inappropriately public and inappropriately hidden from public view. For example, a report in The Advertiser spoke of a “web of secret internet message boards” that “could potentially hold vital clues to investigating detectives” but which “have been blocked by their creators to everyone but [Ryan’s] tight-knit group of friends” (Littlely, Salter, and Wheatley 1). This “web of secret internet message boards” was, in fact, MySpace pages set to “private”: that is, pages accessible to approved friends only.The privacy settings on profiles are thus presented as an obfuscatory mechanism, a refusal on the part of young people to disclose information that might be of assistance to the murder case. Yet these young people were conforming to the very advice about online safety provided in many of the news reports (such as the article by Novak) and echoed in material released by the Australian Government (such as the Cybersmart Guide for Families): that is, in order to protect their privacy online, they should restrict access to their social networking profiles only to friends that they know.This contradictory message—that too much disclosure online poses safety risks, while conservative approaches to online privacy are evidence of secrecy and obfuscation—expresses a rather tangled set of anxieties about contemporary youth culture. This is part of the “cultural thinking-out-loud” that Hartley characterises as a feature of news reporting on youth more generally. The attempt to make sense of an (apparently motiveless) murder of a young woman with reference to a set of contemporary youth cultural practices that are described as both dangerous and incomprehensible not only constructs technology, subculture and young people as problems to be “fixed”, but also highlights the limited ways through which mainstream news coverage comes to “know” and understand youth culture.Jodie Gater and Stephanie Gestier: The “MySpace Suicide Girls” News reporting on Carly Ryan’s death presented youth culture as a disturbing and dangerous underworld hidden from adult view and essential “unknowable” by adult authorities. In contrast, the reports and commentaries on the deaths of Jodie Gater and Stephanie Gestier only a few months later sought to subsume events that may otherwise have been viewed as inexplicable into categories of the already-known. Gater and Gestier were presented not as victims of a disturbing and secret underground subculture, but a more fully knowable mainstream bullying culture. As a result, the dangers of disclosure were presented differently in this case.In April 2007, the bodies of 16-year-old friends Jodie Gater and Stephanie Gestier were found in bushland on the outskirts of Melbourne. The pair was understood to have hanged themselves as part of a suicide pact. Like the reporting on Carly Ryan’s death, anxieties were raised, particularly in the Melbourne papers, about “teenagers’ secret world” in which “introspective, lonely, misunderstood and depressed” young people sought solace in the communities of emo and MySpace (Dubecki 3).Also similar was that the dangers posed by emo formed part of the way this story was reported, particularly with respect to emo’s alleged connection to self-harming practices. The connections between the emo subculture and the girls’ suicides were often vague and non-specific: Gater and Gestier’s MySpace pages were described as “odes to subculture” (Dowsley 73) and their suicides “influenced by youth subcultures” (Dubecki and Oakes 1), but it was not clearly substantiated in the reports that either Gater or Gestier identified with the emo (or any) subculture (see: Dubecki 3).It was similarly the case that the stories connected the deaths of Gater and Gestier to personal disclosures on MySpace. In contrast to the reporting on Carly Ryan’s murder, however, there were fewer concerns about inappropriate and overly personal disclosures online, and more worries that the teenagers’ online disclosures had been missed by both the girls’ friends and by adult authorities. The apparent suicide warning messages left on the girls’ MySpace pages in the months leading up to the their deaths, including “it’s over for me, I can’t take it!” and “let Steph and me be free” (qtd. in Oakes 5), were seen as evidence of the inaccessibility of young people’s cries for help in an online environment. Headlines such as “Teen Cries for Help Lost in Cyberspace” (Nolan 4) suggest that the concern in this case was less about the “secrecy” of youth culture, and more about an inability of parents (and other adult authorities) to penetrate online youth culture in order to hear disclosures made.As a consequence, parents were encouraged to access these disclosures in other ways: Andrea Burns in an opinion column for the Sunday Herald Sun, for example, urged parents to open the lines of communication with their teenagers and not “leave the young to suffer in silence” (108). An article in the Sunday Age claimed developmental similarities between toddlers and teenagers necessitated increased parental involvement in the lives of teens (Susan Sawyer qtd. in Egan 12). Of course, as Livingstone notes, part of the pleasure of social networking sites for young people is the possibility of escape from the surveillance of parental authority (396). Young people’s status as a social category “to be watched” (Davis 251), then, becomes challenged by the obvious difficulties of regular parental access to teenagers’ online profiles. Perhaps acknowledging the inherent difficulties of fully “knowing” online youth culture, and in turn seeking to make the Gater/Gestier tragedy more explicable and comprehensible, many of the articles attempted to make sense of the apparently unknowable in terms of the familiar and already-known. In this case, the complexities of Gater and Gestier’s deaths were presented as a response to something far more comprehensible to adult authorities: school bullying.It is important to note that many of the articles did not follow government recommendations on the reporting of suicide as they often did not consider the teenagers’ deaths in the context of depression or other mental health risks (see: Blood et al. 9). Instead, some reports, such as the Neil McMahon’s story for The Sydney Morning Herald, claimed that the girls’ deaths could be linked to bullying—according to one friend Stephanie Gestier was “being bullied really badly” at school (1). Others simply assumed, but did not substantiate, a connection between the deaths of the two teenagers and the experience of bullying.For instance, in an opinion piece for The Australian, Gater and Gestier’s deaths are a segue for discussing teenage bullying more generally: “were Gater and Gestier bullied?” writer Jack Sargeant asks. “I do not know but I imagine they were” (10). Similarly, in an opinion piece for the Herald Sun entitled “Why Kids Today Feel so ‘Emo’”, Labor MP Lindsay Tanner begins by questioning the role of the emo subculture in the deaths of Gater and Gestier, but quickly shifts to a broader discussion of bullying. He writes: “Emos sound a lot like kids who typically get bullied and excluded by other kids [...] I’m not really in a position to know, but I can’t help wondering” (Tanner 21).Like Sargeant, Tanner does not make a conclusive link between emo, MySpace, suicide and bullying, and so instead shifts from a discussion of the specifics of the Gater/Gestier case to a discussion of the broader problems their suicides were seen to be symptomatic of. This was assisted by Tanner’s claims that emo is simply a characteristic of “kids today” rather than as a specific subcultural affiliation. Emo, he argued, “now seems to reflect quite a bit more than just particular music and fashion styles”: it is seen to represent a much wider problem in youth culture (Tanner 21).Emo thus functioned as a “way in” for critics who perhaps found it easier to (initially) talk about suicide as a risk for those on the cultural fringe, rather than the adolescent mainstream. As a result, the news coverage circled between the risks posed by subcultural involvement and the idea that any or all young people could be at risk of suicide. By conceiving explicit displays of emotionality online as the expression of bullied young people at risk of suicide, otherwise ambiguous disclosures and representations of emotion could be made knowable as young people’s cries for (parental and adult) help.ConclusionIn the newspaper reporting and commentary on the deaths of Carly Ryan, Jodie Gater and Stephanie Gestier, young people are thought to disclose both too much and not enough. The “cultural thinking-out-loud” (Hartley 17) that characterised this type of journalism presented young people’s disclosures as putting them at risk of harm by others, or as revealing that they are at risk of self harm or suicide. At the same time, however, these reports and commentaries also expressed anxieties that young people do not disclose in ways that can be rendered easily knowable, controllable or resolvable by adult authorities. Certainly, the newspaper coverage works to construct and legitimise ideals of parental surveillance of teenagers that speak to the broader discourses of Internet safety that have become prominent in recent years.What is perhaps more significant about this material, however, is that by constructing young people as a whole as “emotional people” (Vowles 1) in need of intervention, surveillance and supervision, and thereby subsuming the specific concerns about the emo subculture and social networking technologies into an expression of more generalised concerns about the “unknowability” of young people as a whole, the newspaper coverage is, in John Hartley’s words, “almost always about something else” (16). Emo and social networking, then, are not so much classic “folk devils”, but are “ways in” for expressing anxieties that are not always clearly and consistently articulated. In expressing anxieties about the “unknowability” of contemporary youth culture, then, the newspaper coverage ultimately also contributed to it. This highlights both the complexity in which moral panic discourse functions in media reporting, and the ways in which more complete understandings of emo, social networking technologies and youth culture became constrained by discourses that treated them as essentially interchangeable.ReferencesAdamson, Kate. “Emo Death Arrest.” Sunday Herald Sun 4 Mar. 2007: 12.Bennett, Andy. “Subcultures or Neo-Tribes? Rethinking the Relationship between Youth, Style and Musical Taste.” Sociology 33 (1999): 599–617.Blood, Warwick R., Andrew Dare, Kerry McCallum, Kate Holland, and Jane Pirkis. “Enduring and Competing News Frames: Australian Newspaper Coverage of the Deaths by Suicides of Two Melbourne Girls.” ANZCA08: Power and Place: Refereed Proceedings, 2008. 1 Sep. 2009 ‹http://anzca08.massey.ac.nz/›.Burns, Andrea. “Don’t Leave the Young to Suffer in Silence.” Sunday Herald Sun 17 Jun. 2007: 108.Cohen, Stanley. Folk Devils and Moral Panics: The Creation of the Mods and Rockers. St Albans: Paladin, 1973.Cubby, Ben, and Larissa Dubecki. “‘It’s Over for Me, I Can’t Take It!’ The Tragic Last Words of MySpace Suicide Girls.” Sydney Morning Herald 24 Apr. 2007: 1.Cybersmart Guide for Families: Safe Internet Use in the Library and at Home. Australian Communications and Media Authority, 2009. 24 Sep. 2009 ‹http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/Parents/Family safety resources/information for you to download.aspx›.Davis, Mark. Gangland: Cultural Elites and the New Generationalism. St Leonards: Allen and Unwin, 1997.De Souza, Zaineb, and Geoffrey N. Dick. “Disclosure of Information by Children in Social Networking: Not Just a Case of ‘You Show Me Yours and I’ll Show You Mine.’” International Journal of Information Management 29 (2009): 255–61.Dowsley, Anthony. “Websites Hold Key to Teens’ Suicides.” The Daily Telegraph 28 March 2007: 73.Dubecki, Larissa. “Teenagers’ Secret World.” The Age 28 April 2007: 3.Dubecki, Larissa, and Dan Oakes. “Lost in Cyberspace: Fears That New Networks Are Breeding Grounds for Real-Life Tragedies.” The Age 24 April: 1.Egan, Carmel. “Being 16.” Sunday Age 29 Mar. 2007: 12.Goode, Erich, and Nachman Ben-Yehuda. Moral Panics: The Social Construction of Deviance. Oxford: Blackwell, 2002.“Gothic Images Appealed to Artistic Soul.” The Advertiser 24 Feb. 2007: 15.Hartley, John. “‘When Your Child Grows Up Too Fast’: Juvenation and the Boundaries of the Social in the News Media.” Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies 12.1 (1998): 9–30.Hinduja, Sameer, and Justin W. Patchin. “Personal Information of Adolescents on the Internet: A Qualitative Content Analysis of MySpace.” Journal of Adolescence 31 (2008): 125-46. Hunt, Nigel. “Teen Murder Breakthrough.” Sunday Mail 4 Mar. 2007: 1-2.Littlely, Brian, Chris Salter, and Kim Wheatley. “Net Hunt for Murder Clues.” The Advertiser 23 Feb. 2007: 1, 4.Livingstone, Sonia. “Taking Risky Opportunities in Youthful Content Creation: Teenagers’ Use of Social Networking Sites for Intimacy, Privacy and Self-Expression.” New Media & Society 10.3 (2008): 393-411.Liu, Hugo. “Social Network Profiles as Taste Performances.” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 13 (2008): 252-275.Marwick, Alice. “To Catch a Predator? The MySpace Moral Panic.” First Monday 13.6 (2008). 31 Aug. 2009 ‹http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2152/1966›.McMahon, Neil. “School Bullies on Girls’ Sad Road to Oblivion.” Sydney Morning Herald 28 Mar. 2007: 1.Nolan, Kellee. “Teen Cries for Help Lost in Cyberspace.” The Courier Mail 24 Mar. 2007: 4.Novak, Lauren. “Cyber Threat: The New Place Our Kids Love to Play.” Sunday Mail 11 Mar. 2007: 12.Oakes, Dan. “Let Us Be Free: Web Clues to Teen Death Pact.” Sydney Morning Herald 23 Mar. 2007: 5.O’Donohue, Danielle. “Pain and Darkness in ‘Emo’ Dwellers’ World.” The Advertiser 23 Feb. 2007: 5.Redhead, Steve (ed). Rave Off: Politics and Deviance in Contemporary Youth Culture. Aldershot: Ashgate, 1999.Riches, Sam. “Farewell to My Love, My World, My Precious Baby Girl.” The Advertiser 10 March 2007: 15.Rose, Tricia. Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 1994.Sargeant, Jack. “It’s Hard to Be Emo and Be Respected.” The Australian 3 May 2007: 10.Tanner, Lindsay. “Why Kids Today Feel So ‘Emo’.” Herald Sun 12 June 2007: 21.Vowles, Gill. “Shock Figures on Emo Culture: Alarm at Teens’ Self-Harm.” Sunday Tasmanian 20 May 2007: 1.Weinstein, Deena. Heavy Metal: The Music and Its Culture. Boulder: Da Capo, 2000.Wheatley, Kim. “How Police Tracked Carly Suspects.” The Advertiser 5 Mar. 2007: 1, 4.Wright, Robert. “‘I’d Sell You Suicide’: Pop Music and Moral Panic in the Age of Marilyn Manson.” Popular Music 19.3 (2000): 365–385.

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Losh, Elizabeth. "Artificial Intelligence." M/C Journal 10, no.5 (October1, 2007). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2710.

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On the morning of Thursday, 4 May 2006, the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence held an open hearing entitled “Terrorist Use of the Internet.” The Intelligence committee meeting was scheduled to take place in Room 1302 of the Longworth Office Building, a Depression-era structure with a neoclassical façade. Because of a dysfunctional elevator, some of the congressional representatives were late to the meeting. During the testimony about the newest political applications for cutting-edge digital technology, the microphones periodically malfunctioned, and witnesses complained of “technical problems” several times. By the end of the day it seemed that what was to be remembered about the hearing was the shocking revelation that terrorists were using videogames to recruit young jihadists. The Associated Press wrote a short, restrained article about the hearing that only mentioned “computer games and recruitment videos” in passing. Eager to have their version of the news item picked up, Reuters made videogames the focus of their coverage with a headline that announced, “Islamists Using US Videogames in Youth Appeal.” Like a game of telephone, as the Reuters videogame story was quickly re-run by several Internet news services, each iteration of the title seemed less true to the exact language of the original. One Internet news service changed the headline to “Islamic militants recruit using U.S. video games.” Fox News re-titled the story again to emphasise that this alert about technological manipulation was coming from recognised specialists in the anti-terrorism surveillance field: “Experts: Islamic Militants Customizing Violent Video Games.” As the story circulated, the body of the article remained largely unchanged, in which the Reuters reporter described the digital materials from Islamic extremists that were shown at the congressional hearing. During the segment that apparently most captured the attention of the wire service reporters, eerie music played as an English-speaking narrator condemned the “infidel” and declared that he had “put a jihad” on them, as aerial shots moved over 3D computer-generated images of flaming oil facilities and mosques covered with geometric designs. Suddenly, this menacing voice-over was interrupted by an explosion, as a virtual rocket was launched into a simulated military helicopter. The Reuters reporter shared this dystopian vision from cyberspace with Western audiences by quoting directly from the chilling commentary and describing a dissonant montage of images and remixed sound. “I was just a boy when the infidels came to my village in Blackhawk helicopters,” a narrator’s voice said as the screen flashed between images of street-level gunfights, explosions and helicopter assaults. Then came a recording of President George W. Bush’s September 16, 2001, statement: “This crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take a while.” It was edited to repeat the word “crusade,” which Muslims often define as an attack on Islam by Christianity. According to the news reports, the key piece of evidence before Congress seemed to be a film by “SonicJihad” of recorded videogame play, which – according to the experts – was widely distributed online. Much of the clip takes place from the point of view of a first-person shooter, seen as if through the eyes of an armed insurgent, but the viewer also periodically sees third-person action in which the player appears as a running figure wearing a red-and-white checked keffiyeh, who dashes toward the screen with a rocket launcher balanced on his shoulder. Significantly, another of the player’s hand-held weapons is a detonator that triggers remote blasts. As jaunty music plays, helicopters, tanks, and armoured vehicles burst into smoke and flame. Finally, at the triumphant ending of the video, a green and white flag bearing a crescent is hoisted aloft into the sky to signify victory by Islamic forces. To explain the existence of this digital alternative history in which jihadists could be conquerors, the Reuters story described the deviousness of the country’s terrorist opponents, who were now apparently modifying popular videogames through their wizardry and inserting anti-American, pro-insurgency content into U.S.-made consumer technology. One of the latest video games modified by militants is the popular “Battlefield 2” from leading video game publisher, Electronic Arts Inc of Redwood City, California. Jeff Brown, a spokesman for Electronic Arts, said enthusiasts often write software modifications, known as “mods,” to video games. “Millions of people create mods on games around the world,” he said. “We have absolutely no control over them. It’s like drawing a mustache on a picture.” Although the Electronic Arts executive dismissed the activities of modders as a “mustache on a picture” that could only be considered little more than childish vandalism of their off-the-shelf corporate product, others saw a more serious form of criminality at work. Testifying experts and the legislators listening on the committee used the video to call for greater Internet surveillance efforts and electronic counter-measures. Within twenty-four hours of the sensationalistic news breaking, however, a group of Battlefield 2 fans was crowing about the idiocy of reporters. The game play footage wasn’t from a high-tech modification of the software by Islamic extremists; it had been posted on a Planet Battlefield forum the previous December of 2005 by a game fan who had cut together regular game play with a Bush remix and a parody snippet of the soundtrack from the 2004 hit comedy film Team America. The voice describing the Black Hawk helicopters was the voice of Trey Parker of South Park cartoon fame, and – much to Parker’s amusem*nt – even the mention of “goats screaming” did not clue spectators in to the fact of a comic source. Ironically, the moment in the movie from which the sound clip is excerpted is one about intelligence gathering. As an agent of Team America, a fictional elite U.S. commando squad, the hero of the film’s all-puppet cast, Gary Johnston, is impersonating a jihadist radical inside a hostile Egyptian tavern that is modelled on the cantina scene from Star Wars. Additional laughs come from the fact that agent Johnston is accepted by the menacing terrorist cell as “Hakmed,” despite the fact that he utters a series of improbable clichés made up of incoherent stereotypes about life in the Middle East while dressed up in a disguise made up of shoe polish and a turban from a bathroom towel. The man behind the “SonicJihad” pseudonym turned out to be a twenty-five-year-old hospital administrator named Samir, and what reporters and representatives saw was nothing more exotic than game play from an add-on expansion pack of Battlefield 2, which – like other versions of the game – allows first-person shooter play from the position of the opponent as a standard feature. While SonicJihad initially joined his fellow gamers in ridiculing the mainstream media, he also expressed astonishment and outrage about a larger politics of reception. In one interview he argued that the media illiteracy of Reuters potentially enabled a whole series of category errors, in which harmless gamers could be demonised as terrorists. It wasn’t intended for the purpose what it was portrayed to be by the media. So no I don’t regret making a funny video . . . why should I? The only thing I regret is thinking that news from Reuters was objective and always right. The least they could do is some online research before publishing this. If they label me al-Qaeda just for making this silly video, that makes you think, what is this al-Qaeda? And is everything al-Qaeda? Although Sonic Jihad dismissed his own work as “silly” or “funny,” he expected considerably more from a credible news agency like Reuters: “objective” reporting, “online research,” and fact-checking before “publishing.” Within the week, almost all of the salient details in the Reuters story were revealed to be incorrect. SonicJihad’s film was not made by terrorists or for terrorists: it was not created by “Islamic militants” for “Muslim youths.” The videogame it depicted had not been modified by a “tech-savvy militant” with advanced programming skills. Of course, what is most extraordinary about this story isn’t just that Reuters merely got its facts wrong; it is that a self-identified “parody” video was shown to the august House Intelligence Committee by a team of well-paid “experts” from the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a major contractor with the federal government, as key evidence of terrorist recruitment techniques and abuse of digital networks. Moreover, this story of media illiteracy unfolded in the context of a fundamental Constitutional debate about domestic surveillance via communications technology and the further regulation of digital content by lawmakers. Furthermore, the transcripts of the actual hearing showed that much more than simple gullibility or technological ignorance was in play. Based on their exchanges in the public record, elected representatives and government experts appear to be keenly aware that the digital discourses of an emerging information culture might be challenging their authority and that of the longstanding institutions of knowledge and power with which they are affiliated. These hearings can be seen as representative of a larger historical moment in which emphatic declarations about prohibiting specific practices in digital culture have come to occupy a prominent place at the podium, news desk, or official Web portal. This environment of cultural reaction can be used to explain why policy makers’ reaction to terrorists’ use of networked communication and digital media actually tells us more about our own American ideologies about technology and rhetoric in a contemporary information environment. When the experts come forward at the Sonic Jihad hearing to “walk us through the media and some of the products,” they present digital artefacts of an information economy that mirrors many of the features of our own consumption of objects of electronic discourse, which seem dangerously easy to copy and distribute and thus also create confusion about their intended meanings, audiences, and purposes. From this one hearing we can see how the reception of many new digital genres plays out in the public sphere of legislative discourse. Web pages, videogames, and Weblogs are mentioned specifically in the transcript. The main architecture of the witnesses’ presentation to the committee is organised according to the rhetorical conventions of a PowerPoint presentation. Moreover, the arguments made by expert witnesses about the relationship of orality to literacy or of public to private communications in new media are highly relevant to how we might understand other important digital genres, such as electronic mail or text messaging. The hearing also invites consideration of privacy, intellectual property, and digital “rights,” because moral values about freedom and ownership are alluded to by many of the elected representatives present, albeit often through the looking glass of user behaviours imagined as radically Other. For example, terrorists are described as “modders” and “hackers” who subvert those who properly create, own, legitimate, and regulate intellectual property. To explain embarrassing leaks of infinitely replicable digital files, witness Ron Roughead says, “We’re not even sure that they don’t even hack into the kinds of spaces that hold photographs in order to get pictures that our forces have taken.” Another witness, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy and International Affairs, Peter Rodman claims that “any video game that comes out, as soon as the code is released, they will modify it and change the game for their needs.” Thus, the implication of these witnesses’ testimony is that the release of code into the public domain can contribute to political subversion, much as covert intrusion into computer networks by stealthy hackers can. However, the witnesses from the Pentagon and from the government contractor SAIC often present a contradictory image of the supposed terrorists in the hearing transcripts. Sometimes the enemy is depicted as an organisation of technological masterminds, capable of manipulating the computer code of unwitting Americans and snatching their rightful intellectual property away; sometimes those from the opposing forces are depicted as pre-modern and even sub-literate political innocents. In contrast, the congressional representatives seem to focus on similarities when comparing the work of “terrorists” to the everyday digital practices of their constituents and even of themselves. According to the transcripts of this open hearing, legislators on both sides of the aisle express anxiety about domestic patterns of Internet reception. Even the legislators’ own Web pages are potentially disruptive electronic artefacts, particularly when the demands of digital labour interfere with their duties as lawmakers. Although the subject of the hearing is ostensibly terrorist Websites, Representative Anna Eshoo (D-California) bemoans the difficulty of maintaining her own official congressional site. As she observes, “So we are – as members, I think we’re very sensitive about what’s on our Website, and if I retained what I had on my Website three years ago, I’d be out of business. So we know that they have to be renewed. They go up, they go down, they’re rebuilt, they’re – you know, the message is targeted to the future.” In their questions, lawmakers identify Weblogs (blogs) as a particular area of concern as a destabilising alternative to authoritative print sources of information from established institutions. Representative Alcee Hastings (D-Florida) compares the polluting power of insurgent bloggers to that of influential online muckrakers from the American political Right. Hastings complains of “garbage on our regular mainstream news that comes from blog sites.” Representative Heather Wilson (R-New Mexico) attempts to project a media-savvy persona by bringing up the “phenomenon of blogging” in conjunction with her questions about jihadist Websites in which she notes how Internet traffic can be magnified by cooperative ventures among groups of ideologically like-minded content-providers: “These Websites, and particularly the most active ones, are they cross-linked? And do they have kind of hot links to your other favorite sites on them?” At one point Representative Wilson asks witness Rodman if he knows “of your 100 hottest sites where the Webmasters are educated? What nationality they are? Where they’re getting their money from?” In her questions, Wilson implicitly acknowledges that Web work reflects influences from pedagogical communities, economic networks of the exchange of capital, and even potentially the specific ideologies of nation-states. It is perhaps indicative of the government contractors’ anachronistic worldview that the witness is unable to answer Wilson’s question. He explains that his agency focuses on the physical location of the server or ISP rather than the social backgrounds of the individuals who might be manufacturing objectionable digital texts. The premise behind the contractors’ working method – surveilling the technical apparatus not the social network – may be related to other beliefs expressed by government witnesses, such as the supposition that jihadist Websites are collectively produced and spontaneously emerge from the indigenous, traditional, tribal culture, instead of assuming that Iraqi insurgents have analogous beliefs, practices, and technological awareness to those in first-world countries. The residual subtexts in the witnesses’ conjectures about competing cultures of orality and literacy may tell us something about a reactionary rhetoric around videogames and digital culture more generally. According to the experts before Congress, the Middle Eastern audience for these videogames and Websites is limited by its membership in a pre-literate society that is only capable of abortive cultural production without access to knowledge that is archived in printed codices. Sometimes the witnesses before Congress seem to be unintentionally channelling the ideas of the late literacy theorist Walter Ong about the “secondary orality” associated with talky electronic media such as television, radio, audio recording, or telephone communication. Later followers of Ong extend this concept of secondary orality to hypertext, hypermedia, e-mail, and blogs, because they similarly share features of both speech and written discourse. Although Ong’s disciples celebrate this vibrant reconnection to a mythic, communal past of what Kathleen Welch calls “electric rhetoric,” the defence industry consultants express their profound state of alarm at the potentially dangerous and subversive character of this hybrid form of communication. The concept of an “oral tradition” is first introduced by the expert witnesses in the context of modern marketing and product distribution: “The Internet is used for a variety of things – command and control,” one witness states. “One of the things that’s missed frequently is how and – how effective the adversary is at using the Internet to distribute product. They’re using that distribution network as a modern form of oral tradition, if you will.” Thus, although the Internet can be deployed for hierarchical “command and control” activities, it also functions as a highly efficient peer-to-peer distributed network for disseminating the commodity of information. Throughout the hearings, the witnesses imply that unregulated lateral communication among social actors who are not authorised to speak for nation-states or to produce legitimated expert discourses is potentially destabilising to political order. Witness Eric Michael describes the “oral tradition” and the conventions of communal life in the Middle East to emphasise the primacy of speech in the collective discursive practices of this alien population: “I’d like to point your attention to the media types and the fact that the oral tradition is listed as most important. The other media listed support that. And the significance of the oral tradition is more than just – it’s the medium by which, once it comes off the Internet, it is transferred.” The experts go on to claim that this “oral tradition” can contaminate other media because it functions as “rumor,” the traditional bane of the stately discourse of military leaders since the classical era. The oral tradition now also has an aspect of rumor. A[n] event takes place. There is an explosion in a city. Rumor is that the United States Air Force dropped a bomb and is doing indiscriminate killing. This ends up being discussed on the street. It ends up showing up in a Friday sermon in a mosque or in another religious institution. It then gets recycled into written materials. Media picks up the story and broadcasts it, at which point it’s now a fact. In this particular case that we were telling you about, it showed up on a network television, and their propaganda continues to go back to this false initial report on network television and continue to reiterate that it’s a fact, even though the United States government has proven that it was not a fact, even though the network has since recanted the broadcast. In this example, many-to-many discussion on the “street” is formalised into a one-to many “sermon” and then further stylised using technology in a one-to-many broadcast on “network television” in which “propaganda” that is “false” can no longer be disputed. This “oral tradition” is like digital media, because elements of discourse can be infinitely copied or “recycled,” and it is designed to “reiterate” content. In this hearing, the word “rhetoric” is associated with destructive counter-cultural forces by the witnesses who reiterate cultural truisms dating back to Plato and the Gorgias. For example, witness Eric Michael initially presents “rhetoric” as the use of culturally specific and hence untranslatable figures of speech, but he quickly moves to an outright castigation of the entire communicative mode. “Rhetoric,” he tells us, is designed to “distort the truth,” because it is a “selective” assembly or a “distortion.” Rhetoric is also at odds with reason, because it appeals to “emotion” and a romanticised Weltanschauung oriented around discourses of “struggle.” The film by SonicJihad is chosen as the final clip by the witnesses before Congress, because it allegedly combines many different types of emotional appeal, and thus it conveniently ties together all of the themes that the witnesses present to the legislators about unreliable oral or rhetorical sources in the Middle East: And there you see how all these products are linked together. And you can see where the games are set to psychologically condition you to go kill coalition forces. You can see how they use humor. You can see how the entire campaign is carefully crafted to first evoke an emotion and then to evoke a response and to direct that response in the direction that they want. Jihadist digital products, especially videogames, are effective means of manipulation, the witnesses argue, because they employ multiple channels of persuasion and carefully sequenced and integrated subliminal messages. To understand the larger cultural conversation of the hearing, it is important to keep in mind that the related argument that “games” can “psychologically condition” players to be predisposed to violence is one that was important in other congressional hearings of the period, as well one that played a role in bills and resolutions that were passed by the full body of the legislative branch. In the witness’s testimony an appeal to anti-game sympathies at home is combined with a critique of a closed anti-democratic system abroad in which the circuits of rhetorical production and their composite metonymic chains are described as those that command specific, unvarying, robotic responses. This sharp criticism of the artful use of a presentation style that is “crafted” is ironic, given that the witnesses’ “compilation” of jihadist digital material is staged in the form of a carefully structured PowerPoint presentation, one that is paced to a well-rehearsed rhythm of “slide, please” or “next slide” in the transcript. The transcript also reveals that the members of the House Intelligence Committee were not the original audience for the witnesses’ PowerPoint presentation. Rather, when it was first created by SAIC, this “expert” presentation was designed for training purposes for the troops on the ground, who would be facing the challenges of deployment in hostile terrain. According to the witnesses, having the slide show showcased before Congress was something of an afterthought. Nonetheless, Congressman Tiahrt (R-KN) is so impressed with the rhetorical mastery of the consultants that he tries to appropriate it. As Tiarht puts it, “I’d like to get a copy of that slide sometime.” From the hearing we also learn that the terrorists’ Websites are threatening precisely because they manifest a polymorphously perverse geometry of expansion. For example, one SAIC witness before the House Committee compares the replication and elaboration of digital material online to a “spiderweb.” Like Representative Eshoo’s site, he also notes that the terrorists’ sites go “up” and “down,” but the consultant is left to speculate about whether or not there is any “central coordination” to serve as an organising principle and to explain the persistence and consistency of messages despite the apparent lack of a single authorial ethos to offer a stable, humanised, point of reference. In the hearing, the oft-cited solution to the problem created by the hybridity and iterability of digital rhetoric appears to be “public diplomacy.” Both consultants and lawmakers seem to agree that the damaging messages of the insurgents must be countered with U.S. sanctioned information, and thus the phrase “public diplomacy” appears in the hearing seven times. However, witness Roughhead complains that the protean “oral tradition” and what Henry Jenkins has called the “transmedia” character of digital culture, which often crosses several platforms of traditional print, projection, or broadcast media, stymies their best rhetorical efforts: “I think the point that we’ve tried to make in the briefing is that wherever there’s Internet availability at all, they can then download these – these programs and put them onto compact discs, DVDs, or post them into posters, and provide them to a greater range of people in the oral tradition that they’ve grown up in. And so they only need a few Internet sites in order to distribute and disseminate the message.” Of course, to maintain their share of the government market, the Science Applications International Corporation also employs practices of publicity and promotion through the Internet and digital media. They use HTML Web pages for these purposes, as well as PowerPoint presentations and online video. The rhetoric of the Website of SAIC emphasises their motto “From Science to Solutions.” After a short Flash film about how SAIC scientists and engineers solve “complex technical problems,” the visitor is taken to the home page of the firm that re-emphasises their central message about expertise. The maps, uniforms, and specialised tools and equipment that are depicted in these opening Web pages reinforce an ethos of professional specialisation that is able to respond to multiple threats posed by the “global war on terror.” By 26 June 2006, the incident finally was being described as a “Pentagon Snafu” by ABC News. From the opening of reporter Jake Tapper’s investigative Webcast, established government institutions were put on the spot: “So, how much does the Pentagon know about videogames? Well, when it came to a recent appearance before Congress, apparently not enough.” Indeed, the very language about “experts” that was highlighted in the earlier coverage is repeated by Tapper in mockery, with the significant exception of “independent expert” Ian Bogost of the Georgia Institute of Technology. If the Pentagon and SAIC deride the legitimacy of rhetoric as a cultural practice, Bogost occupies himself with its defence. In his recent book Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames, Bogost draws upon the authority of the “2,500 year history of rhetoric” to argue that videogames represent a significant development in that cultural narrative. Given that Bogost and his Watercooler Games Weblog co-editor Gonzalo Frasca were actively involved in the detective work that exposed the depth of professional incompetence involved in the government’s line-up of witnesses, it is appropriate that Bogost is given the final words in the ABC exposé. As Bogost says, “We should be deeply bothered by this. We should really be questioning the kind of advice that Congress is getting.” Bogost may be right that Congress received terrible counsel on that day, but a close reading of the transcript reveals that elected officials were much more than passive listeners: in fact they were lively participants in a cultural conversation about regulating digital media. After looking at the actual language of these exchanges, it seems that the persuasiveness of the misinformation from the Pentagon and SAIC had as much to do with lawmakers’ preconceived anxieties about practices of computer-mediated communication close to home as it did with the contradictory stereotypes that were presented to them about Internet practices abroad. In other words, lawmakers found themselves looking into a fun house mirror that distorted what should have been familiar artefacts of American popular culture because it was precisely what they wanted to see. References ABC News. “Terrorist Videogame?” Nightline Online. 21 June 2006. 22 June 2006 http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=2105341>. Bogost, Ian. Persuasive Games: Videogames and Procedural Rhetoric. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007. Game Politics. “Was Congress Misled by ‘Terrorist’ Game Video? We Talk to Gamer Who Created the Footage.” 11 May 2006. http://gamepolitics.livejournal.com/285129.html#cutid1>. Jenkins, Henry. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: New York UP, 2006. julieb. “David Morgan Is a Horrible Writer and Should Be Fired.” Online posting. 5 May 2006. Dvorak Uncensored Cage Match Forums. http://cagematch.dvorak.org/index.php/topic,130.0.html>. Mahmood. “Terrorists Don’t Recruit with Battlefield 2.” GGL Global Gaming. 16 May 2006 http://www.ggl.com/news.php?NewsId=3090>. Morgan, David. “Islamists Using U.S. Video Games in Youth Appeal.” Reuters online news service. 4 May 2006 http://today.reuters.com/news/ArticleNews.aspx?type=topNews &storyID=2006-05-04T215543Z_01_N04305973_RTRUKOC_0_US-SECURITY- VIDEOGAMES.xml&pageNumber=0&imageid=&cap=&sz=13&WTModLoc= NewsArt-C1-ArticlePage2>. Ong, Walter J. Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word. London/New York: Methuen, 1982. Parker, Trey. Online posting. 7 May 2006. 9 May 2006 http://www.treyparker.com>. Plato. “Gorgias.” Plato: Collected Dialogues. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1961. Shrader, Katherine. “Pentagon Surfing Thousands of Jihad Sites.” Associated Press 4 May 2006. SonicJihad. “SonicJihad: A Day in the Life of a Resistance Fighter.” Online posting. 26 Dec. 2005. Planet Battlefield Forums. 9 May 2006 http://www.forumplanet.com/planetbattlefield/topic.asp?fid=13670&tid=1806909&p=1>. Tapper, Jake, and Audery Taylor. “Terrorist Video Game or Pentagon Snafu?” ABC News Nightline 21 June 2006. 30 June 2006 http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/Technology/story?id=2105128&page=1>. U.S. Congressional Record. Panel I of the Hearing of the House Select Intelligence Committee, Subject: “Terrorist Use of the Internet for Communications.” Federal News Service. 4 May 2006. Welch, Kathleen E. Electric Rhetoric: Classical Rhetoric, Oralism, and the New Literacy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999. Citation reference for this article MLA Style Losh, Elizabeth. "Artificial Intelligence: Media Illiteracy and the SonicJihad Debacle in Congress." M/C Journal 10.5 (2007). echo date('d M. Y'); ?> <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0710/08-losh.php>. APA Style Losh, E. (Oct. 2007) "Artificial Intelligence: Media Illiteracy and the SonicJihad Debacle in Congress," M/C Journal, 10(5). Retrieved echo date('d M. Y'); ?> from <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0710/08-losh.php>.

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Savic, Milovan, Anthony McCosker, and Paula Geldens. "Cooperative Mentorship: Negotiating Social Media Use within the Family." M/C Journal 19, no.2 (May4, 2016). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1078.

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IntroductionAccounts of mentoring relationships inevitably draw attention to hierarchies of expertise, knowledge and learning. While public concerns about both the risks and benefits for young people of social media, little attention has been given to the nature of the mentoring role that parents and families play alongside of schools. This conceptual paper explores models of mentorship in the context of family dynamics as they are affected by social media use. This is a context that explicitly disrupts hierarchical structures of mentoring in that new media, and particularly social media use, tends to be driven by youth cultural practices, identity formation, experimentation and autonomy-seeking practices (see for example: Robards; boyd; Campos-Holland et al.; Hodkinson). A growing body of research supports the notion that young people are more skilled in navigating social media platforms than their parents (FOSI; Campos-Holland et al.). This research establishes that uncertainty and tension derived from parents’ impression that their children know more about social media they do (FOSI; Sorbring) has brought about a market for advice and educational programs. In the content of this paper it is notable that when family dynamics and young people’s social media use are addressed through notions of digital citizenship or cyber safety programs, a hierarchical mentorship is assumed, but also problematised; thus the expertise hierarchy is inverted. This paper argues that use of social media platforms, networks, and digital devices challenges traditional hierarchies of expertise in family environments. Family members, parents and children in particular, are involved in ongoing, complex conversations and negotiations about expertise in relation to technology and social media use. These negotiations open up an alternative space for mentorship, challenging traditional roles and suggesting the need for cooperative processes. And this, in turn, can inspire new ways of relating with and through social media and mobile technologies within the family.Inverting Expertise: Social Media, Family and MentoringSocial media are deeply embedded in everyday routines for the vast majority of the population. The emergence of the ‘networked society’, characterised by increasing and pervasive digital and social connectivity, has the potential to create new forms of social interactions within and across networks (Rainie and Wellman), but also to reconfigure intergenerational and family relations. In this way, social media introduces new power asymmetries that affect family dynamics and in particular relationships between young people and their parents. This relatively new mediated environment, by default, exposes young people to social contexts well beyond family and immediate peers making their lived experiences individual, situational and contextual (Swist et al.). The perceived risks this introduces can provoke tensions within families looking to manage those uncertain social contexts, in the process problematising traditional structures of mentorship. Mentoring is a practice predominantly understood within educational and professional workplace settings (Ambrosetti and Dekkers). Although different definitions can be found across disciplines, most models position a mentor as a more experienced knowledge holder, implying a hierarchical relationship between a mentor and mentee (Ambrosetti and Dekkers). Stereotypically, a mentor is understood to be older, wiser and more experienced, while a mentee is, in turn, younger and in need of guidance – a protégé. Alternative models of mentorship see mentoring as a reciprocal process (Eby, Rhodes and Allen; Naweed and Ambrosetti).This “reciprocal” perspective on mentorship recognises the opportunity both sides in the process have to contribute and benefit from the relationship. However, in situations where one party in the relationship does not have the expected knowledge, skills or confidence, this reciprocity becomes more difficult. Thus, as an alternative, asymmetrical or cooperative mentorship lies between the hierarchical and reciprocal (Naweed and Ambrosetti). It suggests that the more experienced side (whichever it is) takes a lead while mentoring is negotiated in a way that meets both sides’ needs. The parent-child relationship is generally understood in hierarchical terms. Traditionally, parents are considered to be mentors for their children, particularly in acquiring new skills and facilitating transitions towards adult life. Such perspectives on parent-child relationships are based on a “deficit” approach to youth, “whereby young people are situated as citizens-in-the-making” (Collin). Social media further problematises the hierarchical dynamic with the role of knowledge holder varying between and within the family members. In many contemporary mediated households, across developed and wealthy nations, technologically savvy children are actively tailoring their own childhoods. This is a context that requires a reconceptualisation of traditional mentoring models within the family context and recognition of each stakeholder’s expertise, knowledge and agency – a position that is markedly at odds with traditional deficit models. Negotiating Social Media Use within the FamilyIn the early stages of the internet and social media research, a generational gap was often at the centre of debates. Although highly contested, Prensky’s metaphor of digital natives and digital immigrants persists in both the popular media and academic literature. This paradigm portrays young people as tech savvy in contrast with their parents. However, such assumptions are rarely grounded in empirical evidence (Hargittai). Nonetheless, while parents are active users of social media, they find it difficult to negotiate social media use with their children (Sorbring). Some studies suggest that parental concerns arise from impressions that their children know more about social media than they do (FOSI; Wang, Bianchi and Raley). Additionally, parental concern with a child’s social media use is positively correlated with the child’s age; parents of older children are less confident in their skills and believe that their child is more digitally skillful (FOSI). However, it may be more productive to understand social media expertise within the family as shared: intermittently fluctuating between parents and children. In developed and wealthy countries, children are already using digital media by the age of five and throughout their pre-teen years predominantly for play and learning, and as teenagers they are almost universally avid social media users (Nansen; Nansen et al.; Swist et al.). Smartphone ownership has increased significantly among young people in Australia, reaching almost 80% in 2015, a proportion nearly identical to the adult population (Australian Communications and Media Authority). In addition, most young people are using multiple devices switching between them according to where, when and with whom they connect (Australian Communications and Media Authority). The locations of internet use have also diversified. While the home remains the most common site, young people make use of mobile devices to access the internet at school, friend’s homes, and via public Wi-Fi hotspots (Australian Communications and Media Authority). As a result, social media access and engagement has become more frequent and personalised and tied to processes of socialisation and well-being (Sorbring; Swist et al.). These developments have been rapid, introducing asymmetry into the parent-child mentoring dynamic along with family tensions about rules, norms and behaviours of media use. Negotiating an appropriate balance between emerging autonomy and parental oversight has always featured as a primary parenting challenge and social media seem to have introduced a new dimension in this context. A 2016 Pew report on parents, teens, and digital monitoring reveals that social media use has become central to the establishment of family rules and disciplinary practices, with over two thirds of parents reporting the use of “digital grounding” as punishment (Pew). As well as restricting social media use, the majority of parents report limiting the amount of time and times of day their children can be online. Interestingly, while parents engage in a variety of hands-on approaches to monitoring and regulating children’s social media use, they are less likely to use monitoring software, blocking/filtering online content, tracking locations and the like (Pew). These findings suggest that parents may lack confidence in technology-based restrictions or prefer pro-active, family based approaches involving discussion about appropriate social media use. This presents an opportunity to explore how social media produces new forms of parent-child relationships that might be best understood through the lens of cooperative models of mentorship. Digital Parenting: Technological and Pedagogical Interventions Parents along with educators and policy makers are looking for technological solutions to the knowledge gap, whether perceived or real, associated with concerns regarding young people’s social media use. Likewise, technology and social media companies are rushing to develop and sell advice, safety filters and resources of all kinds to meet such parental needs (Clark; McCosker). This relatively under-researched field requires further exploration and dissociation from the discourse of risk and fear (Livingstone). Furthermore, in order to develop opportunities modelled on concepts of cooperative mentoring, such programs and interventions need to move away from hierarchical assumptions about the nature of expertise within family contexts. As Collin and Swist point out, online campaigns aimed at addressing young people and children’s safety and wellbeing “are often still designed by adult ‘experts’” (Collin and Swist). A cooperative mentoring approach within family contexts would align with recent use of co-design or participatory design within social and health research and policy (Collin and Swist). In order to think through the potential of cooperative mentorship approaches in relation to social media use within the family, we examine some of the digital resources available to parents.Prominent US cyber safety and digital citizenship program Cyberwise is a commercial website founded by Diana Graber and Cynthia Lieberman, with connections to Verizon Wireless, Google and iKeepSafe among many other partnerships. In addition to learning resources around topics like “Being a Responsible Citizen of the Digital World”, Cyberwise offers online and face to face workshops on “cyber civics” in California, emphasising critical thinking, ethical discussion and decision making about digital media issues. The organisation aims to educate and support parents and teachers in their endeavor to guide young people in civil and safe social media use. CyberWise’s slogan “No grown up left behind!”, and its program of support and education is underpinned by and maintains the notion of adults as lacking expertise and lagging behind young people in digital literacy and social media skills. In the process, it introduces an additional level of expertise in the cyber safety expert and software-based interventions. Through a number of software partners, CyberWise provides a suite of tools that offer parents some control in preventing cyberbullying and establishing norms for cyber safety. For example, Frienedy is a dedicated social media platform that fosters a more private mode of networking for closed groups of mutually known people. It enables users to control completely what they share and with whom they share it. The tool does not introduce any explicit parental monitoring mechanisms, but seeks to impose an exclusive online environment divested of broader social influences and risks – an environment in which parents can “introduce kids to social media on their terms when they are ready”. Although Frienedy does not explicitly present itself as a monitoring tool, it does perpetuate hierarchical forms of mentorship and control for parents. On the other hand, PocketGuardian is a parental monitoring service for tracking children’s social media use, with an explicit emphasis on parental control: “Parents receive notification when cyberbullying or sexting is detected, plus resources to start a conversation with their child without intruding child’s privacy” (the software notifies parents when it detects an issue but without disclosing the content). The tool promotes its ability to step in on behalf of parents, removing “the task of manually inspecting your child's device and accounts”. The software claims that it analyses the content rather than merely catching “keywords” in its detection algorithms. Obviously, tools such as PocketGuardian reflect a hierarchical mentorship model (and recognise the expertise asymmetry) by imposing technological controls. The software, in a way, fosters a fear of expertise deficiency, while enabling technological controls to reassert the parent-child hierarchy. A different approach is exemplified by the Australian based Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre, a “living lab” experiment – this is an overt attempt to reverse deliberate asymmetry. This pedagogical intervention, initially taking the form of an research project, involved four young people designing and delivering a three-hour workshop on social networking and cyber safety for adult participants (Third et al.). The central aim was to disrupt the traditional way adults and young people relate to each other in relation to social media and technology use and attempted to support learning by reversing traditional roles of adult teacher and young student. In this way ‘a non-hierarchical space of intergenerational learning’ was created (Third et al.). The result was to create a setting where intergenerational conversation helped to demystify social media and technology, generate familiarity with sites, improve adult’s understanding of when they should assist young people, and deliver agency and self-efficacy for the young people involved (7-8). In this way, young people’s expertise was acknowledged as a reflection of a cooperative or asymmetrical mentoring relationship in which adult’s guidance and support could also play a part. These lessons have been applied and developed further through a participatory design approach to producing apps and tools such as Appreciate-a-mate (Collin and Swist). In that project “the inclusion of young people’s contexts became a way of activating and sustaining attachments in regard to the campaign’s future use”(313).In stark contrast to the CyberWise tools, the cooperative mentoring (or participatory design) approach, exemplified in this second example, has multiple positive outcomes: first it demystifies social media use and increases understanding of the role it plays in young people’s (and adults’) lives. Second, it increases adults’ familiarity and comfort in navigating their children’s social media use. Finally, for the young people involved, it supports a sense of achievement and acknowledges their expertise and agency. To build sustainability into these processes, we would argue that it is important to look at the family context and cooperative mentorship as an additional point of intervention. Understood in this sense, cooperative and asymmetrical mentoring between a parent and child echoes an authoritative parenting style which is proven to have the best outcome for children (Baumrind), but in a way that accommodates young people’s technology expertise.Both programs analysed target adults (parents) as less skilful than young people (their children) in relation to social media use. However, while first case study, the technology based interventions endorses hierarchical model, the Living Lab example (a pedagogical intervention) attempts to create an environment without hierarchical obstacles to learning and knowledge exchange. Although the parent-child relationship is indubitably characterised by the hierarchy to some extent, it also assumes continuous negotiation and role fluctuation. A continuous process, negotiation intensifies as children age and transition to more independent media use. In the current digital environment, this negotiation is often facilitated (or even led) by social media platforms as additional agents in the process. Unarguably, digital parenting might implicate both technological and pedagogical interventions; however, there should be a dialogue between the two. Without presumed expertise roles, non-hierarchical, cooperative environment for negotiating social media use can be developed. Cooperative mentorship, as a concept, offers an opportunity to connect research and practice through participatory design and it deserves further consideration.ConclusionsPrevailing approaches to cyber safety education tend to focus on risk management and in doing so, they maintain hierarchical forms of parental control. Adhering to such methods fails to acknowledge young people’s expertise and further deepens generational misunderstanding over social media use. Rather than insisting on hierarchical and traditional roles, there is a need to recognise and leverage asymmetrical expertise within the family in regards to social media.Cooperative and asymmetrical mentorship happens naturally in the family and can be facilitated by and through social media. The inverted hierarchy of expertise we have described here puts both parents and children, in a position of constant negotiation over social media use. This negotiation is complex, relational, unpredictable, open toward emergent possibilities and often intensive. Unquestionably, it is clear that social media provides opportunities for negotiation over, and inversion of, traditional family roles. Whether this inversion of expertise is real or only perceived, however, deserves further investigation. This article formulates some of the conceptual groundwork for an empirical study of family dynamics in relation to social media use and rulemaking. The study aims to continue to probe the positive potential of cooperative and asymmetrical mentorship and participatory design concepts and practices. The idea of cooperative mentorship does not necessarily provide a universal solution to how families negotiate social media use, but it does provide a new lens through which this dynamic can be observed. Clearly family dynamics, and the parent-child relationship, in particular, can play a vital part in supporting effective digital citizenship and wellbeing processes. Learning about this spontaneous and natural process of family negotiations might equip us with tools to inform policy and practices that can help parents and children to collaboratively create ‘a networked world in which they all want to live’ (boyd). ReferencesAmbrosetti, Angelina, and John Dekkers. "The Interconnectedness of the Roles of Mentors and Mentees in Pre-Service Teacher Education Mentoring Relationships." Australian Journal of Teacher Education 35.6 (2010): 42-55. Naweed, Anjum, and Ambrosetti Angelina. "Mentoring in the Rail Context: The Influence of Training, Style, and Practicenull." Journal of Workplace Learning 27.1 (2015): 3-18.Australian Communications and Media Authority, Office of the Childrens eSafety Commissioner. Aussie Teens and Kids Online. Australian Communications and Media Authority, 2016. Baumrind, Diana. "Effects of Authoritative Parental Control on Child Behavior." Child Development 37.4 (1966): 887. boyd, danah. It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014. Campos-Holland, Ana, Brooke Dinsmore, Gina Pol, Kevin Zevalios. "Keep Calm: Youth Navigating Adult Authority across Networked Publics." Technology and Youth: Growing Up in a Digital World. Eds. Sampson Lee Blair, Patricia Neff Claster, and Samuel M. Claster. 2015. 163-211. Clark, Lynn Schofield. The Parent App: Understanding Families in the Digital Age. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. Collin, Philippa. Young Citizens and Political Participation in a Digital Society: Addressing the Democratic Disconnect. Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. Collin, Philippa, and Teresa Swist. "From Products to Publics? The Potential of Participatory Design for Research on Youth, Safety and Well-Being." Journal of Youth Studies 19.3 (2016): 305-18. Eby, Lillian T., Jean E. Rhodes, and Tammy D. Allen. "Definition and Evolution of Mentoring." The Blackwell Handbook of Mentoring: A Multiple Perspectives Approach. Eds. Tammy D. Allen and Lillian T. Eby. Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. 7-20.FOSI. Parents, Privacy & Technology Use. Washington: Family Online Safety Institute, 2015. Hargittai, Eszter. "Digital Na(t)ives? Variation in Internet Skills and Uses among Members of the 'Net Generation'." Sociological Inquiry 80.1 (2010): 92-113.Hodkinson, Paul. "Bedrooms and Beyond: Youth, Identity and Privacy on Social Network Sites." New Media & Society (2015). Livingstone, Sonia. "More Online Risks for Parents to Worry About, Says New Safer Internet Day Research." Parenting for a Digital Future 2016.McCosker, Anthony. "Managing Digital Citizenship: Cyber Safety as Three Layers of Contro." Negotiating Digital Citizenship: Control, Contest and Culture. Eds. A. McCosker, S. Vivienne, and A. Johns. London: Rowman & Littlefield, forthcoming 2016. Nansen, Bjorn. "Accidental, Assisted, Automated: An Emerging Repertoire of Infant Mobile Media Techniques." M/C Journal 18.5 (2015). Nansen, Bjorn, et al. "Children and Digital Wellbeing in Australia: Online Regulation, Conduct and Competence." Journal of Children and Media 6.2 (2012): 237-54. Pew, Research Center. Parents, Teens and Digital Monitoring: Pew Research Center, 2016. Prensky, Marc. "Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Part 1." On the Horizon 9.5 (2001): 1-6. Rainie, Harrison, and Barry Wellman. Networked: The New Social Operating System. Cambridge, Mass.: Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2012. Robards, Brady. "Leaving Myspace, Joining Facebook: ‘Growing up’ on Social Network Sites." Continuum 26.3 (2012): 385-98. Sorbring, Emma. "Parents’ Concerns about Their Teenage Children’s Internet Use." Journal of Family Issues 35.1 (2014): 75-96.Swist, Teresa, et al. Social Media and Wellbeing of Children and Young People: A Literature Review. Perth, WA: Prepared for the Commissioner for Children and Young People, Western Australia, 2015. Third, Amanda, et al. Intergenerational Attitudes towards Social Networking and Cybersafety: A Living Lab. Melbourne: Cooperative Research Centre for Young People, Technology and Wellbeing, 2011.Wang, Rong, Suzanne M. Bianchi, and Sara B. Raley. "Teenagers’ Internet Use and Family Rules: A Research Note." Journal of Marriage and Family 67.5 (2005): 1249-58.

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Desmarais, Robert. "Let's Celebrate READ IN Week!" Deakin Review of Children's Literature 6, no.2 (October3, 2016). http://dx.doi.org/10.20361/g2rw3k.

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Dear Readers,We are delighted that this special issue includes book reviews from preschool to junior high readers!We would like to acknowledge Michelle St. Jean, Steven Campbell, Natalie Burns—the grade six and eight teachers from Ben Calf Robe - St. Clare Elementary/Junior High School—whose students completed the reviews as part of their class work. Assistant Principal Sonia Mangieri was our contact at the school who coordinated with the teachers to help make the vision of an issue entirely devoted to student reviews a reality. We would also like to thank Principal Rena Methuen for her school’s participation in this project. We are also grateful to teachers Ann Sheehan and Jenn Sych from the Child Study Centre’s Junior Kindergarten in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta for helping their students to provide class reviews of The Pirate’s Bed. Finally we would like to acknowledge our reviewers for contributing their thoughts on a wide range of reading materials and for sharing their favorite books and reading spots. Wishing you all a wonderful READ IN Week with enjoyable books and good friends.Warm wishes,Deakin Editors_________________________________________________________________Dear Readers,Welcome to this special edition of the Deakin Review. My name is Dr. Trudy Cardinal and I am very excited to be part of this edition highlighting the reviews of students from Ben Calf Robe St. Clare School and from the Child Study Centre’s Junior Kindergarten program in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Education as part of the 2016 READ IN Week celebrations. This year’s theme is: One World, Many Voices, which was inspired in part by the words of Indigenous author Richard Wagamese in his introduction to One Story, One Song: “What binds us together as a human family is our collective yearning to belong, and we need to share our stories to achieve that” (2011, p. 5). As a Cree/Métis scholar I have always yearned to find children’s books that were more representative of the Cree/Métis life I lived as a little girl in northern Alberta but I never did find one. Rather I fell in love with Laura Ingalls Wilder from Little House on the Prairie and Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables feeling a kindred spirit in both of those characters – and yet, despite this love, I still yearned for more – someone more like me! Now, as a teacher educator and a Kokom (a Cree grandmother) I am so excited to find more and more beautiful children’s books, and more and more brilliant Indigenous authors who are creating stories that resonate with my soul. I can now go on grand adventures with Chuck in Jordon Wheeler’s Just a Walk. I see images of my niece Emma in Elizabeth Denny’s Jenneli’s Dance as she wins her first jigging prize and my heart-strings are tugged as I see the spitting image of my younger brother in the little boy in Peter Eyvindson’s Red Parka Mary. Finally, the yearning I have held for so long is beginning to abate as I come across such rich Indigenous literature depicting stories that are more representative of the life I lived as a Cree/Métis little girl. And in this issue, where the youngest readers are given opportunity to share stories of the books they are reading, Deakin Review helps to create spaces of belonging and nurtures the dreams of our youngest - now published - authors. Literacy, when we honor stories of lives, and create spaces for diverse voices in the ways that this issues does, contributes to that greater sense of belonging to which Richard Wagamese speaks. Happy reading!Trudy CardinalDr. Trudy Cardinal is an assistant professor in the department of Elementary Education at the University of Alberta. As a Cree/Métis scholar and Kokom (Cree grandmother), she has a particular passion for stories and storytelling including a love of children’s literature, especially literature written by and portraying the multiplicities in the lives of Indigenous youth and families. Her current favorite book is Just a Walk by Jordon Wheeler because it makes her laugh and think of the many adventures she went on when walking in the woods behind her house! __________________________________________________________Dear Readers,My name is Jill McClay, and I am a reader. Throughout my life, I have held a number of jobs and lived in three countries, but one constant in my life is that I have been a reader for as far back as my memory goes. I am delighted to co-introduce this special issue of the Deakin Review because this issue reminds me of the great variety of readers of all ages. In reading these young readers’ reviews of their favourite stories, I make many connections –they love some of my favourite books, and they like or dislike stories for the same reasons as I do.These young people love some of the stories that I love—the Harry Potter series, anything that John Green writes, Lumberjanes -- and some others I don’t know but now want to read. They read a wide range of literature, from fantasy, science fiction, nonfiction, romance, realistic fiction, manga other graphic stories, mysteries, stories with movie tie-ins, and more. When they explain why they like reading, I nod in agreement at many of their comments: Jerlaine sums up my thoughts best when she writes that she likes to read “because it makes you feel like you’re with different people and different times.” I too like the feeling Aiden expresses, “The author makes you kind of feel like you’re tagging along with the characters in this story.”The readers featured in this issue also dislike stories for some of the same reasons that I do – Nathaniel notes that he “didn't like the part when Obi Wan got captured because he got distracted by cookies. Jedi don't get distracted by cookies.” Fair point! I note that nonfiction draws both great approval and definite disapproval by various readers, reminding us that we all have different tastes.This issue of the Deakin Review, featuring the responses of young readers to their reading, reminds me of the importance of allowing young people to follow their interests in reading. There are stories and books for us all. As friends, teachers, parents, and librarians, we can help each other and young readers find the books that will be important to us by talking about the stories we like.Best wishes,Jill McClayDr. Jill McClay is the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta. She likes to read most kinds of fiction, especially young adult novels, picture books, and stories of families through the generations. Her favourite place to read is in her comfy red chair. She doesn’t have a favourite book but likes to re-read some of her favourites occasionally.

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Hunt, Rosanna, and Michelle Phillipov. ""Nanna Style": The Countercultural Politics of Retro Femininities." M/C Journal 17, no.6 (October8, 2014). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.901.

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Over the past two decades in the West, practices of ethical consumption have become increasingly visible within mainstream consumer culture (Lewis and Potter). While they manifest in a variety of forms, such practices are frequently articulated to politics of anti-consumerism, environmentalism, and sustainable consumption through which lifestyle choices are conceived as methods for investing in—and articulating—ethical and social concerns. Such practices are typically understood as both a reflection of the increasing global influence of neoliberal, consumer-oriented modes of citizenship and a response to the destabilisation of capitalism’s certainties in the wake of ongoing climate change and the global financial crisis (Castells et al.; Miller). Consume less, consume differently, recycle, do-it-yourself: activities that have historically been associated with explicitly activist movements (see Bryner) are now increasingly accessible and attractive to people for whom these consumption choices might serve as their first introduction to countercultural practices. While the notion of “counterculture” is today a contested concept—one that no longer refers only to “the” (i.e. 1960s) counterculture, but also to a range of radical movements and practices—it is one which is useful for thinking about the ways in which difference from, and resistance to, the “mainstream” can be asserted. Within contemporary consumer culture, resistance is now often articulated in ways which suggests that the lines between the “countercultural” and the “mainstream” are no longer clear cut (Desmond, McDonagh and O’Donohue 263). For Castells et al. (12), this is especially the case when the structures of capitalism are under strain, as this is when alternative and countercultural ways of living increasingly enter the mainstream. The concept of counterculture, then, is useful for understanding the ways in which progressive political values may be reimagined, rearticulated and represented within the mainstream, thereby offering access points to political participation for people who may not necessarily describe their activities as resistant or even as politically engaged (Barnett et al. 45). One of the most interesting aspects of this phenomenon is how a progressive politics of consumption is expressed through images and aesthetics that are culturally coded as conservative. Across a range of contemporary media and popular cultural forms, notions of ethical consumption are often paralleled by resurgences in practices associated with domesticity and traditional femininities. From retro fashions referencing 1940s and 1950s femininity to the growing popularisation of crafting and cooking, many of the “old-fashioned” practices of domesticity that had been critiqued and rejected by second wave feminism (see Brunsdon The Feminist 216), are being reimagined as simultaneously nostalgic and politically progressive choices for women (and, sometimes, for men). This paper explores how the contemporary mobilisation of traditional femininities can activate progressive, countercultural politics of gender and consumption. Specifically, it will examine the popularisation of the “nanna” as a countercultural icon that exemplifies the contemporary politics of retro femininities. Drawing upon data from our larger, more comprehensive studies, this paper uses two case studies—the rise of “nanna-style” cookbooks and the “nanna culture” of indie lifestyle magazine Frankie—to explore the ways that traditional femininities can be reworked to prompt a rethinking of current consumption practices, foster connection (in the case of nanna-style cookbooks) and challenge the limitations of contemporary gender norms (in the case of Frankie). While we are not suggesting that these politics are necessarily deliberately encoded in the texts (although sometimes they may be) or that these texts are inevitably interpreted in the way that we are suggesting, this paper offers preliminary textual “readings” (Kellner 12) of the ways that countercultural values can be uncovered within mainstream cultural forms. Nanna-style cookbooks and Frankie magazine are each examples of a broader resignification of the nanna that has been occurring across a number of sites of contemporary popular culture. Previous associations of the nanna as old, conservative or uncool are being replaced with new images of nannas as active, skilled, funky women. For example, this is evident in the recent resurgences of craft cultures, which reshape the meanings of contemporary knitting as being “not your grandma’s knitting” (Fields 150), but as a “fun, hip, and political” new hobby (Groeneveld 260). Such craft activities have been described using discourses of “revolution and reclamation” (Groeneveld 266) to mobilise countercultural practices ranging from explicitly activist “craftivism” (Corbett and Housley) to more ordinary, everyday politics of consumption and time management. Through activities such as “knit ins”, yarn bombing, and Stitch “N” Bitch circles, contemporary craft practices can be seen as an expression of the “historically reflexive and community minded new amateur”, whose craft practices facilitate new connections between amateurs to enable “alternative values and ways of living” and reject negative aspects of modern consumer society (Hackney 187). Even for women with less explicit activist commitments, an investment in the practices of retro femininities can provide opportunities for community-building, including across generations, in which participants are offered not only a “welcome respite from the rush and hurry of everyday life”, but also access to a suite of activities through which they can resist dominant approaches to consumption (Nathanson 119). Consequently, nostalgic images of grandmotherly practices need not signal only a conservative marketing strategy or desire to return to a (patriarchal, pre-feminist) past as they are sometimes interpreted (see Trussler), but a means through which images of the past can be resignified and reinterpreted in the context of contemporary needs and politics. Cooking Nanna-Style Nanna-style cookbooks are an example of “emergent uses of the past” (Bramall 15) for present purposes. “Nanna-style” is a currently popular category within the cookbook publishing and retailing industries that, for many critics, has been understood as an essentially conservative response to the financial uncertainties of the economic downturn (Orr). Certainly, nanna-style cookbooks are, on one level at least, uncritically and unreflexively nostalgic for a time when women’s cooking was central to providing the comforts of home. In Nonna to Nana: Stories of Food and Family, grandmothers are presented as part of a “fast-disappearing generation of matriarchs” whose recipes must be preserved so that “we [can] honour the love and dedication [they] give through the simple gift of making and sharing their food” (DiBlasi and DiBlasi, book synopsis). Merle’s Kitchen, written by 79-year-old author and Country Women’s Association (CWA) judge, Merle Parrish, is littered with reminisces about what life was like “in those days” when the “kitchen was the heart of the home” and women prepared baked treats each week for their children and husbands (Parrish vii). Sweet Paul Eat & Make: Charming Recipes and Kitchen Crafts You Will Love is filled with the recipes and stories of author Paul Lowe’s grandmother, Mormor, who doted on her family with delicious pancakes cooked at any time of the day. Such images of the grandmother’s selfless dedication to her family deploy the romance of what Jean Duruz (58) has called “Cooking Woman,” a figure whose entire identity is subsumed within the pleasure and comfort that she provides to others. Through the medium of the cookbook, Cooking Woman serves the fantasies of the “nostalgic cosmopolitan” (Duruz 61) for whom the pleasures of the nanna reflect an essentially (albeit unacknowledged) conservative impulse. However, for others, the nostalgia of Cooking Woman need not necessarily involve endorsem*nt of her domestic servitude, but instead evoke images of an (imagined, utopian) past as a means of exploring the pleasures and contradictions of contemporary femininities and consumption practices (see Hollows 190). Such texts are part of a broader set of practices associated with what Bramall (21) calls “austerity chic.” Austerity chic’s full political potential is evident in explicitly countercultural cookbooks like Heidi Minx’s Home Rockanomics, which invokes the DIY spirit of punk to present recycling, cooking and craft making as methods for investing in an anti-corporate, vegan activist politics. But for Bramall (31), even less challenging texts featuring nostalgic images of nannas can activate progressive demands about the need to consume more sustainably in ways that make these ideas more accessible to a broader range of constituencies. In particular, such texts offer forms of “alternative hedonism” through which practices of ethical consumption need not be characterised by experiences of self-denial but by a reconceptualisation of what constitutes the “good life” (Soper 211). In the practices of austerity chic as they are presented in nanna-style cookbooks, grandmotherly practices of baking and cooking are presented as frugal and self-sufficient, but also as granting access to experiences of pleasure, including the pleasures of familial warmth, cohesion and connection. Specifically, these books emphasise the ways in which cooking, and baking in particular, helps to forge connections between generations. For the authors of Pass It Down and Keep Baking, the recipes of grandmothers and great-aunts are described as “treasures” to be “cherished and passed on to future generations” (Wilkinson and Wilkinson 2). For the authors of Nonna to Nana, the food of the authors’ own grandmother is described as the “thread that bound our family together” (DiBlasi and DiBlasi 2). In contrast to some of the more explicitly political retro-inspired movements, which often construct the new formations of these practices as distinct from those of older women (e.g. “not your grandma’s knitting”), these more mainstream texts celebrate generational cohesion. Given the ways in which feminist histories have tended to discursively pit the various “waves” of feminism in opposition to that which came before, the celebration of the grandmother as a unifying figure becomes a means through which connections can be forged between past and present subjectivities (see Bramall 134). Such intergenerational connections—and the notion that grandmotherly practices are treasures to be preserved—also serve as a way of reimagining and reinterpreting (often devalued) feminine domestic activities as alternative sources of pleasure and of the “good life” at a time when reducing consumption and adopting more sustainable lifestyle practices is becoming increasingly urgent (see Bramall; Soper). While this might nonetheless be interpreted as compliant with contemporary patriarchal and capitalist structures—indeed, there is nothing inherently countercultural about conceiving the domestic as a site of pleasure—the potential radicalism of these texts lies in the ways that they highlight how investment in the fantasies, pleasures and activities of domesticity are not available only to women, nor are they associated only with the reproduction of traditional gender roles. For example in Sweet Paul Eat & Make, Lowe’s adoption of many of Mormor’s culinary and craft practices highlights the symbolic work that the nanna performs to enable his own commitment to forms of traditionally feminine domesticity. The fact that he is also large, hairy, heavily tattooed and pictured with a cute little French bulldog constructs Lowe as a simultaneously masculine and “camp” figure who, much like the playful and excessive femininity of well-known figures like Nigella Lawson (Brunsdon “Martha” 51), highlights the inherent performativity of both gendered and domestic subjectivities, and hence challenges any uncritical investment in these traditional roles. The countercultural potential of nanna-style cookbooks, then, lies not necessarily in an explicitly activist politics, but in a politics of the everyday. This is a politics in which seemingly conservative, nostalgic images of the nanna can make available new forms of identity, including those that emerge between generations, between the masculine and the feminine, and between imagined utopias of domesticity and the economic and environmental realities of contemporary consumer culture. Frankie’s Indie Nanna The countercultural potential of the nanna is also mobilised in fashion and lifestyle publications, including Frankie magazine, which is described as part of a “world where nanna culture is revered” (“Frankie Magazine Beats the Odds”). Frankie exemplifies both a reaction against a particular brand of femininity, and an invitation to consume more sustainably as part of the indie youth trend. Indie, as it manifests in Frankie, blends retro aesthetics with progressive politics in ways that present countercultural practices not as explicitly oppositional, but as access points to inclusive, empowering and pleasurable femininities. Frankie’s version of nanna culture can be found throughout the magazine, particularly in its focus on retro styles. The nanna is invoked in instructions for making nanna-style items, such as issue 46’s call to “Pop on a Cuppa: How to Make Your Own Nanna-Style Tea Cosy” (Lincolne 92-93), and in the retro aesthetics found throughout the magazine, including recipes depicting baked goods served on old-fashioned crockery and features on homes designed with a vintage theme (see Nov.-Dec. 2012 and Mar.-Apr. 2013). Much like nanna-style cookbooks, Frankie’s celebration of nanna culture offers readers alternative ways of thinking about consumption, inviting them to imagine the “satisfactions to be had from consuming differently” (Soper 222) and to construct ethical consumption as both expressions of alternative critical consumer culture and as practices of “cool” consumer connoisseurship (Franklin 165). Here, making your own items, purchasing second-hand items, or repurposing old wares, are presented not as forms of sacrifice, but as pleasurable and fashionable choices for young women. This contrasts with the consumption practices typically promoted in other contemporary women’s magazines. Most clearly, Frankie’s promotion of nanna chic stands in opposition to the models of desirable femininity characteristic of glossies like Cosmopolitan. The archetypal “Cosmo Girl” is represented as a woman seeking to achieve social mobility and desirability through consumption of cosmetics, fashion and sexual relationships (Oullette 366-367). In contrast, the nanna, with her lack of overt sexuality, older age, and conservative approach to consumption, invites identification with forms of feminine subjectivity that resist the patriarchal ideologies that are seen as typical of mainstream women’s magazines (see Gill 217). Frankie’s cover artwork demonstrates its constructed difference from modes of desirable femininity promoted by its glossy counterparts. The cover of the magazine’s 50th issue, for example, featured a embroidered collage depicting a range of objects including a sewing machine, teapot, retro glasses, flowers and a bicycle. This cover, which looks handcrafted and features items that evoke both nanna culture and indie style, offers forms of feminine style and desirability based on homecrafts, domestic self-sufficiency and do-it-yourself sustainability. The nanna herself is directly referenced on the cover of issue 52, which features an illustration of a woman in an armchair, seated in front of vintage-style floral wallpaper, a cup of tea in her hand, and her hair in a bun. While she does not possess physical features that signify old age such as grey hair or wrinkles, her location and style choices can each be read as signifiers of the nanna. Yet by featuring her on the cover of a young women’s magazine—and by dressing her in high-heeled boots—the nanna is constructed as subject position available to young, potentially desirable women. In contrast to glossy women’s magazines featuring images of young models or celebrities in sexualised poses (see Gill 184), Frankie offers a progressive politics of gender in which old-fashioned activities can provide means of challenging identities and consumption practices dominant within mainstream cultural industries. As Bramall (121) argues of “retro femininities in austerity,” such representations provide readers access to “subjectivities [that] may incorporate a certain critique of consumer capitalism.” By offering alternative modes of consumption in which women are not necessarily defined by youth and sexual desirability, Frankie’s indie nanna provides an implicit critique of mainstream consumerism’s models of ideal femininity. This gender politics thus relies not simply on an uncritical “gender reversal” (Plumwood 62), but rather reworks and recombines elements of past and present femininities to create new meanings and identities. Much like nanna-style cookbooks’ grandmotherly figures who unite generations, Frankie constructs the nanna as a source of wisdom and a figure to be respected. For example, a two-page spread entitled “Ask a Nanna” featured Polaroid pictures of nannas answering the question: “What would you tell your 20-year-old self?” (Evans 92-93). The magazine also regularly features older women, such as the profile describing Sonia Grevell as “a champion at crochet and living generously” (Corry 107). The editors’ letter of a recent issue describes the issue’s two major themes as “nannas and dirty, dirty rock”, which are described as having a “couple of things in common”: “they’ve been around for a while, you sometimes have to talk loudly in front of them and they rarely take sh*t from anyone” (Walker and Burke 6). The editors suggest that such “awesomeness” can be emulated by “eating a bikkie while gently moshing around the living room” or “knitting with drum sticks”—both unlikely juxtapositions that represent the unconventional nanna and her incorporation into indie youth culture. This celebration of the nanna stands in contrast to a mainstream media culture that privileges youth, especially for women, and suggests both common interests and learning opportunities between generations. While neither Frankie nor nanna-style cookbooks present themselves as political texts, when they are read within their particular historical and social contexts, they offer new ways of thinking about how countercultural practices are—and could be—mobilised by, and made accessible to, constituencies who may not otherwise identify with an explicitly oppositional politics. These texts sometimes appear to be located within a politically ambiguous nexus of compliance and resistance, but it is in this space of ambiguity that new identities and new commitments to progressive politics can be forged, normalised and made more widely available. These texts may not ultimately challenge capitalist structures of consumption, and they remain commodified products, but by connecting oppositional and mainstream practices, they offer new ways of conceiving the relationships between age, gender, sustainability and pleasure. They suggest ways that we might reimagine consumption as more sustainable and more inclusive than currently dominant modes of capitalist consumerism. References Barnett, Clive, Nick Clarke, Paul Cloke, and Alice Malpass. “The Political Ethics of Consumerism.” Consumer Policy Review 15.2 (2005): 45-51. Bramall, Rebecca. The Cultural Politics of Austerity: Past and Present in Austere Times. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. Brunsdon, Charlotte. The Feminist, the Housewife and the Soap Opera. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000. Brunsdon, Charlotte. “The Feminist in the Kitchen: Martha, Martha and Nigella.” Feminism in Popular Culture. Eds Joanne Hollows and Rachel Moseley. Oxford: Berg, 2006. 41-56. Bryner, Gary C. Gaia’s Wager: Environmental Movements and the Challenge of Sustainability. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2001. Castells, Manuel, João Caraça, and Gustavo Cardoso. “The Cultures of the Economic Crisis: An Introduction.” Aftermath: The Cultures of the Economic Crisis. Eds. Manuel Castells, João Caraça, and Gustavo Cardoso. Oxford University Press, 2012. 1–16. Corbett, Sarah, and Sarah Housley. “The Craftivist Collective Guide to Craftivism.” Utopian Studies 22.2 (2011): 344-351. Corry, Lucy. “Stitches in Time.” Frankie Jan.-Feb. 2014: 106-107. Desmond, John, Pierre McDonagh and Stephanie O’Donohoe. “Counter-Culture and Consumer Society.” Consumption, Markets and Culture 4.3 (2000): 207-343. DiBlasi, Jessie, and Jacqueline DiBlasi. Nonna to Nana: Stories of Food and Family. Melbourne: Jessie and Jacqueline DiBlasi, 2014. Duruz, Jean. “Haunted Kitchens: Cooking and Remembering.” Gastronomica 4.1 (2004): 57-68. Evans, Daniel. “Ask a Nanna.” Frankie Mar.-Apr. 2010: 92-93. Fields, Corey D. “Not Your Grandma’s Knitting: The Role of Identity Processes in the Transformation of Cultural Practices.” Social Psychology Quarterly 77.2 (2014): 150-165. Frankie. Mar.-Apr. 2013. ---. Nov.- Dec. 2012. “Frankie Magazine Beats the Odds.” The 7.30 Report. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 8 June 2010. Transcript. 30 Sep. 2014 ‹http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2010/s2921938.htm›. Franklin, Adrian. “The Ethics of Second-Hand Consumption.” Ethical Consumption: A Critical Introduction. Eds Tania Lewis and Emily Potter. London: Routledge, 2011. 156-168. Gill, Rosalind. Gender and the Media. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2007. Groeneveld, Elizabeth. “‘Join the Knitting Revolution’: Third-Wave Feminist Magazines and the Politics of Domesticity.” Canadian Review of American Studies 40.2 (2010): 259-277. Hackney, Fiona. “Quiet Activism and the New Amateur: The Power of Home and Hobby Crafts.” Design and Culture 5.2 (2013): 169-194. Hollows, Joanne. “Feeling like a Domestic Goddess: Postfeminism and Cooking.” European Journal of Cultural Studies 6.2 (2003): 179-202. Kellner, Douglas. “Towards a Critical Media/Cultural Studies.” Media/Cultural Studies: Critical Approaches. Eds Rhonda Hammer and Douglas Kellner. New York: Peter Lang, 2009. 5-24. Lewis, Tania, and Emily Potter (eds). Ethical Consumption: A Critical Introduction. London: Routledge, 2011. Lincolne, Pip. “Pop on a Cuppa.” Frankie Mar.-Apr. 2012: 92-93. Lowe, Paul. Sweet Paul Eat & Make: Charming Recipes and Kitchen Crafts You Will Love. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014. Miller, Toby. Cultural Citizenship: Cosmopolitanism, Consumerism and Television in a Neoliberal Age. Philadelphia: Temple UP, 2007. Minx, Heidi. Home Rockanomics: 54 Projects and Recipes for Style on the Edge. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2009. Nathanson, Elizabeth. Television and Postfeminist Housekeeping. New York: Routledge, 2013. Orr, Gillian. “Sweet Taste of Sales Success: Why Are Cookbooks Selling Better than Ever?” The Independent (7 Sept. 2012). 29 Sep. 2014 ‹http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/features/sweet-taste-of-sales-success-why-are-cookbooks-selling-better-than-ever-8113937.html›. Oullette, Laurie. “Inventing the Cosmo Girl: Class Identity and Girl-Style American Dreams.” Media, Culture and Society 21.3 (1999): 359-383. Parrish, Merle. Merle’s Kitchen. North Sydney: Ebury Press, 2012. Plumwood, Val. Feminism and the Mastery of Nature. London: Routledge, 1993. Soper, Kate. “Rethinking the ‘Good Life’: The Citizenship Dimension of Consumer Disaffection with Consumerism.” Journal of Consumer Culture 7.2 (2007): 205-229. Trussler, Meryl. “Half Baked: The Trouble with Cupcake Feminism.” The Quietus 13 Feb. 2013. 29 Sep. 2014 ‹http://thequietus.com/articles/07962-cupcake-feminism›. Walker, Jo, and Lara Burke. “First Thought.” Frankie Jan.-Feb. 2014: 6. Wilkinson, Laura, and Beth Wilkinson. Pass It Down and Keep Baking. Melbourne: Pass It On, 2013.

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Cuningham, Phillip Lamarr, and Melinda Lewis. "“Taking This from This and That from That”: Examining RZA and Quentin Tarantino’s Use of Pastiche." M/C Journal 16, no.4 (August11, 2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.669.

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In his directorial debut, The Man with the Iron Fists (2012), RZA not only evokes the textual borrowing techniques he has utilised as a hip-hop producer, but also reflects the influence of filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, who has built a career upon acknowledging mainstream and cult film histories through mise-en-scene, editing, and deft characterisation. The Man with the Iron Fists was originally to coincide with Tarantino’s rebel slave narrative Django Unchained (2012), which Tarantino has discussed openly as commentary regarding race in contemporary America. In 2011, Variety reported that RZA had joined the cast of Tarantino’s anticipated Django Unchained, playing “Thaddeus, a violent slave working on a Mississippi plantation” (Sneider, “Rza Joins ‘Django Unchained’ Cast”). Django Unchained follows Tarantino’s pattern of generic and trope mixology, combining elements of the Western, blaxploitation, and buddy/road film. He famously stated: “[If] my work has anything it's that I'm taking this from this and that from that and mixing them together… I steal from everything. Great artists steal; they don't do homages” (“The Directors of Our Lifetime: In Their Own Words”). He sutures iconography from multiple films in numerous genres to form new texts that stand alone, albeit as amalgamations of references. In considering meanings attached particularly to exploitation films, this article addresses the significance of combining influences within The Man with the Iron Fists and Tarantino’s Django Unchained, and the ideological threads that emerge in fusing exploitation film aesthetics. Ultimately, these films provide a convergence not only of texts, but also of the collective identities associated with and built upon those texts, feats made possible through the filmmakers’ use of pastiche. Pastiche in Identity Formation as Subversive A reflection of the postmodern tendency towards appropriation and borrowing, pastiche is often considered less meaningful than its counterpart, parody. Fredric Jameson suggests that though pastiche and parody share commonalities (most notably the mimicry of style and mannerisms), they do so to different effects. Jameson asserts that parody mimics in an effort to mock the idiosyncrasies within a text, whereas pastiche is “neutral parody” of “dead styles” (114). In short, as Susan Hayward writes, “In its uninventiveness, pastiche is but a shadow of its former thing” (302). For Jameson, the most ubiquitous form of pastiche is the nostalgia film, which attempts to recapture the essence of the past. As examples, he points to the George Lucas films American Graffiti (1973), which is staged in the United States of the 1950s, and Star Wars (1977), which reflects the serials of the 1930s-1950s (114-115). Though scholars such as Jameson and Hayward are contemptuous of pastiche, a growing number see its potential for the subversion and critique that the aforementioned suggest it lacks. For instance, Sarah Smith reminds us that pastiche films engage in “complicitous critique”: the films maintain the trappings of original texts, yet do so in order to advance critique (209). For Smith and other scholars, such as Judith Butler and Richard Dyer, Jameson’s criticism of pastiche is dismissive, for while these scholars largely agree that pastiche is a form of mimicry in which the distance between original and copy is minimal, they recognise that a space still exists for it to be critical. Smith writes: “[W]hile there may be greater distance between the parody and its target text than there is between the pastiche and the text it imitates, a prescribed degree of distance is not a prerequisite for critical engagement with the ur-text” (210). In this regard, fidelity to the original texts is not only required but to be revered, for these likenesses to the original “act as a guarantee of the critique of those origins and provide an opportunity for the filmmaker to position [himself or herself] in relation to them” (Smith 211). Essentially, pastiche is a useful technique in which to construct hybrid identities. Keri E. Iyall Smith suggests that hybrid identities emerge from “a reflexive relationship between local and global” (3). According to popular music scholar Brett Lashua, hybrid identities “make and re-make culture through appropriating the cultural ‘raw materials’ of life in order to construct meaning in their own specific cultural localities. In a sense, they are ‘sampling’ from broader popular culture and reworking what they can take into their own specific local cultures” (“The Arts of the Remix: Ethnography and Rap”). As will be evidenced here, Tarantino utilises pastiche as an unabashed genre poacher; similarly, as a self-avowed Tarantino student and hip-hop producer known for his sampling acumen, RZA invokes pastiche to reflect mastery of his craft and a hybridised identity his multifaceted persona. Plagiarism, Poaching, and Pastiche: Tarantino Blurs Boundaries As a filmmaker, Tarantino is known for indulging in excess: violence, language, and aesthetics. Edward Gallafent characterised the director’s work as having a preoccupation with settings and journeys, violence (both emotional and physical), complicated chronological structures, and dissatisfying conclusions (3-4). Additionally, pieces of Tarantino’s cinematic fandom are inserted into his own films. Academic and popular critics continually note Tarantino’s rise as an obsessive video store clerk turned respected and eccentric auteur. Tarantino’s authorship lies mostly in his ability to borrow (or in his words, steal) narrative arcs, characterisations, and camera work from other filmmakers, and use them in ways that feel innovative and different from those past works. It is not that he borrows generally from movements, films, and filmmakers, but that he conscientiously lifts segments from works to incorporate into his text. In Postmodern Hollywood: What’s New in Film and Why It Makes Us Feel So Strange, Keith M. Booker contends that Tarantino’s work often straddles lines between simplistic reference for reference’s sake and meditations upon the roles of cinema (90). Booker dismisses claims for the latter, citing Tarantino’s unwillingness to contextualise the references in Pulp Fiction, such that the film is best described not an act of citation so much as a break with the historical. Tarantino’s lack of reverence provides him freedom to intermingle texts and tropes to fit his goals as a filmmaker, rather than working within the confines of generic narratives. Each film feels both apart and distinct from genre categories. Jackie Brown, for example, has many of the traits attached to blaxploitation, from its focus on drug culture, the casting of Pam Grier who gained status playing female leads in blaxploitation films, and extreme violence. Tarantino’s use of humour throughout, particular in his treatment of character types, plot twists, and self-aware musical cues distances the film from easy characterisation. It is, but isn’t. What is gained is a remediated conception of cinematic reality. The fictions created in films of the past are noted in Tarantino’s play with tropes. His mixes produce an extreme form of mediated reality – one that is full of excess, highly exaggerated, and completely composed of stolen frameworks. Tarantino continues his generic play in Django Unchained. While much of it does borrow heavily from 1960s and 1970s Western filmmakers like Leone, Corbucci, and Peckinpah (the significance of desolate landscapes, long takes, extreme violence), it also incorporates strands of buddy cop (partners with different backgrounds working together to correct wrongs), early blaxploitation (Broomhilda’s last name is von Shaft suggesting that she is an ancestor of blaxploitation icon John Shaft, the characterisation of Django as black antihero enacting revenge on white racists in power), and kung fu (revenge narrative, in addition to the extensive training moments between Dr. Schultz and Django). The familiar elements highlight the transgressions of genre adherence. The comfort of the western genre and its tropes eases the audience, only for Tarantino to incorporate those elements from outside the genre to spark interest, to shock, to remind audiences of the mediated reality onscreen. Tarantino has been criticised for his lack of depth and understanding regarding women and people of colour, despite his attempts to provide various leading and supporting roles for both. Django Unchained was particularly criticised for Tarantino’s use of the term nigg*r - over 100 instances in the film. Tarantino defended his decision by claiming historical accuracy, poetic license, and his desire to confront audiences with various levels of racism. Many, including Spike Lee, disagreed, arguing Tarantino had no claim to making a film about slavery. Lee stated through Twitter: “American Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It Was A Holocaust. My Ancestors Are Slaves. Stolen From Africa. I Will Honor Them” (“Spike Lee on Django Unchained: Filmmaker Calls Movie ‘Disrespectful’”). Not only does Lee evoke the tragedy of the American slave trade and the significance of race within contemporary filmmaking, but he uses genre to underscore what he perceives is Tarantino’s lack of reverence to the issue of slavery and its aftermath in American culture. Django Unchained is both physically and emotionally brutal. The world created by Tarantino is culturally messy, as Italian composers rub elbows with black hip-hop artists, actors from films’ referenced in Django Unchained interact with new types of heroes. The amounts of references, people, and spectacles in his films have created a brand that is both hyperaware, but often critiqued as ambivalent. This is due in part to the perception of Tarantino as a filmmaker with no filter. His brand as a filmmaker is action ordered, excessive, and injected with his own fandom. He is an ultimate poacher of texts and it is this aesthetic, which has also made him a fan favourite amongst young cinephiles. Not only does he embrace the amount of play film offers, but he takes the familiar and makes it strange. The worlds he creates are hazier, darker, and unstable. Creating such a world in Django Unchained provides a lot of potential for reading race in film and American culture. He and his defenders have discussed this film as an “honest” portrayal of the effects of slavery and racial tension in the United States. This is also the world which acts as context for RZA’s The Man with the Iron Fists. Though a reference abandoned in Django Unchained, the connection between both films and both filmmakers pleasure in pastiche provide further insight to connections between film and race. Doing the Knowledge: RZA Pays Homage As a filmmaker, RZA utilises Tarantino’s filmmaking brand techniques to build his own homage and add to the body of kung-fu films. Doing so furnishes him the opportunity to rehash and reform narratives and tropes in ways that change familiar narrative structures and plot devices. In creating a film which relies on cinematic allusions to kung fu, RZA—as a fan, practitioner, and author—reconfigures kung fu from being an exploitative genre and reshapes its potential for representational empowerment. While Tarantino considers himself an unabashed thief of genre tropes, RZA envisions himself more as a student who pays homage to masters—among whom he includes Tarantino. Indeed, in an interview with MTV, RZA refers to Tarantino as his Sifu (a Chinese term for master or teacher) and credits him not only for teaching RZA about filmmaking, but also for providing him with his blessing to make his first feature length film (Downey, “RZA Recalls Learning from ‘The Master’ Quentin Tarantino”). RZA implies that mastery of one’s craft comes from incorporating influences while creating original work, not theft. For instance, he states that the Pink Blossom brothel—the locus for most of the action in the film—was inspired by the House of Blue Leaves restaurant, which functions in a similar capacity in Tarantino’s Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (“RZA Talks Sampling of Kung Fu Films for Movie & The Difference Between Biting vs. Influence”). Hip-hop is an art form in which its practitioners “partake of a discursive universe where skill at appropriating the fragments of a rapidly-changing world with verbal grace and dexterity is constituted as knowledge” (Potter 21). This knowledge draws upon not only the contemporary moment but also the larger body of recorded music and sound, both of which it “re-reads and Signifies upon through a complex set of strategies, including samplin’, cuttin’ (pastiche), and freestylin’ (improvisation)” (Potter 22). As an artist who came of age in hip-hop’s formative years and whose formal recording career began at the latter half of hip-hop’s Golden Age (often considered 1986-1993), RZA is a particularly adept cutter and sampler – indeed, as a sampler, RZA is often considered a master. While RZA’s samples run the gamut of the musical spectrum, he is especially known for sampling obscure, often indeterminable jazz and soul tracks. Imani Perry suggests that this measure of fidelity to the past is borne out of hip-hop’s ideological respect for ancestors and its inherent sense of nostalgia (54). Hallmarks of RZA’s sampling repertoire include dialog and sound effects from equally obscure kung fu films. RZA attributes his sampling of kung fu to an affinity for these films established in his youth after viewing noteworthy examples such as The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978) and Five Deadly Venoms (1978). These films have become a key aspect of his identity and everyday life (Gross, “RZA’s Edge: The RZA’s Guide to Kung Fu Films”). He speaks of his decision to make kung fu dialog an integral part of Wu-Tang Clan’s first album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers): “My fantasy was to make a one-hour movie that people were just going to listen to. They would hear my movie and see it in their minds. I’d read comic books like that, with sonic effects and kung fu voices in my head. That makes it more exciting so I try to create music in the same way” (Gross, ““RZA’s Edge: The RZA’s Guide to Kung Fu Films”). Much like Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) and his other musical endeavours, The Man with the Iron Fists serves as further evidence of RZA’s hybrid identity., which sociologist Keri E. Iyall Smith suggests emerges from “a reflexive relationship between local and global” (3). According to popular music scholar Brett Lashua, hybrid identities “make and re-make culture through appropriating the cultural ‘raw materials’ of life in order to construct meaning in their own specific cultural localities. In a sense, they are ‘sampling’ from broader popular culture and reworking what they can take into their own specific local cultures” (“The Arts of the Remix: Ethnography and Rap”). The most overt instance of RZA’s hybridity is in regards to names, many of which are derived from the Gordon Liu film Shaolin and Wu-Tang (1983), in which the competing martial arts schools come together to fight a common foe. The film is the basis not only for the name of RZA’s group (Wu-Tang Clan) but also for the names of individual members (for instance, Master Killer—after the series to which the film belongs) and the group’s home base of Staten Island, New York, which they frequently refer to as “Shaolin.” The Man with the Iron Fists is another extension of this hybrid identity. Kung fu has long had meaning for African Americans particularly because these films frequently “focus narratively on either the triumph of the ‘little guy’ or ‘underdog’ or the nobility of the struggle to recognise humanity and virtue in all people, or some combination of both” (Ongiri 35). As evidence, Amy Obugo Ongiri points to films such as The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, a film about a peasant who learns martial arts at the Shaolin temple in order to avenge his family’s murder by the Manchu rulers (Ongiri 35). RZA reifies this notion in a GQ interview, where he speaks about The 36th Chamber of Shaolin specifically, noting its theme of rebellion against government oppression having relevance to his life as an African American (Pappademus, “This Movie Is Rated Wu”). RZA appropriates the humble origins of the peasant San Te (Gordon Liu), the protagonist of The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, in Thaddeus (whom RZA plays in the film), whose journey to saviour of Jungle Village begins with his being a slave in America. Indeed, one might argue that RZA’s construction of and role as Thaddeus is the ultimate realisation of the hybrid identity he has developed since becoming a popular recording artist. Just as Tarantino’s acting in his own films often reflects his identity as genre splicer and convention breaker (particularly since they are often self-referential), RZA’s portrayal of Thaddeus—as an African American, as a martial artist, and as a “conscious” human being—reflects the narrative RZA has constructed about his own life. Conclusion The same amount of play Tarantino has with conventions, particularly in characterisations and notions of heroism, is present in RZA’s Man with the Iron Fists. Both filmmakers poach from their favourite films and genres in order to create interpretations that feel both familiar and new. RZA follows Tarantino’s aesthetic of borrowing scenes directly from other films. Both filmmakers poach from films for their own devices, but in those mash-ups open up avenues for genre critique and identity formation. Tarantino is right to say that they are not solely homages, as homages honour the films in which they borrow. Tarantino and RZA do more through their poaching to stretch the boundaries of genres and films’ abilities to communicate with audiences. References “The Directors of Our Lifetime: In Their Own Words.” Empire Online. N.d. 8 May 2013 ‹http://www.empireonline.com/magazine/250/directors-of-our-lifetime/5.asp›. Booker, Keith M. Postmodern Hollywood: What’s New in Film and Why It Makes Us Feel So Strange. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2007. Downey, Ryan J. “RZA Recalls Learning from ‘The Master’ Quentin Tarantino.” MTV. 30 August 2012. 14 July 2013 ‹http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1692872/rza-man-with-the-iron-fists-quentin-tarantino.jhtml›. Gallefent, Edward. Quentin Tarantino. London: Longman. 2005. Gross, Jason. “RZA’s Edge: The RZA’s Guide to Kung Fu Films.” Film Comment. N.d. 5 June 2013 ‹http://www.filmcomment.com/article/rzas-edge-the-rzas-guide-to-kung-fu-films›. Iyall Smith, Keri E. “Hybrid Identities: Theoretical Examinations.” Hybrid Identities: Theoretical and Empirical Examinations. Ed. Keri E. Iyall Smith and Patricia Leavy. Leiden: Brill, 2008. 3-12. Jameson, Fredric. “Postmodernism and Consumer Society.” Postmodern Culture. Ed. Hal Foster. London: Pluto, 1985. 111-125. Lashua, Brett. “The Arts of the Remix: Ethnography and Rap.” Anthropology Matters 8.2 (2006). 6 June 2013 ‹http://www.anthropologymatters.com›. “The Man with the Iron Fists – Who in the Cast Can F-U Up?” IronFistsMovie 21 Sep. 2012. YouTube. 8 May 2013 ‹http://youtu.be/bhJOQZFJfqA›. Pappademus, Alex. “This Movie Is Rated Wu.” GQ Nov. 2012. 6 June 2013 ‹http://www.gq.com/entertainment/movies-and-tv/201211/the-rza-man-with-the-iron-fists-wu-tang-clan›. Perry, Imani. Prophets of the Hood: Politics and Poetics in Hip Hop. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2004. Potter, Russell. Spectacular Vernaculars: Hip-Hop and the Politics of Postmodernism. Albany, NY: SUNY P, 1995. “RZA Talks Sampling of Kung Fu Films for Movie & The Difference between Biting vs. Influence.” The Well Versed. 2 Nov. 2012. 5 June 2013 ‹http://thewellversed.com/2012/11/02/video-rza-talks-sampling-of-kung-fu-films-for-movie-the-difference-between-biting-vs-influence/›. Smith, Sarah. “Lip and Love: Subversive Repetition in the Pastiche Films of Tracey Moffat.” Screen 49.2 (Summer 2008): 209-215. Snedier, Jeff. “Rza Joins 'Django Unchained' Cast.” Variety 2 Nov. 2011. 14 June 2013 ‹http://variety.com/2011/film/news/rza-joins-django-unchained-cast-1118045503/›. “Spike Lee on Django Unchained: Filmmaker Calls Movie ‘Disrespectful.’” Huffington Post 24 Dec. 2012. 14 June 2013 ‹http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/23/spike-lee-django-unchained-movie-disrespectful_n_2356729.html›. Wu-Tang Clan. Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). Loud, 1993. Filmography The 36th Chamber of Shaolin. Dir. Chia-Liang Lui. Perf. Chia Hui Lui, Lieh Lo, Chia Yung Lui. Shaw Brothers, 1978. Django Unchained. Dir. Quentin Tarantino. Perf. Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz. Miramax, 2012. Five Deadly Venoms. Dir. Cheh Chang. Perf. Sheng Chiang, Philip Kwok, Feng Lu. Shaw Brothers, 1978. Jackie Brown. Dir. Quentin Tarantino. Perf. Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster. Miramax, 1997. Kill Bill: Vol. 1. Dir. Quentin Tarantino. Perf. Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Darryl Hannah. Miramax, 2003. The Man with the Iron Fists. Dir. RZA. Perf. RZA, Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu. Arcade Pictures, 2012. Pulp Fiction. Dir. Quentin Tarantino. Perf. John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson. Miramax, 1994. Shaolin and Wu-Tang. Dir. Chiu Hui Liu. Perf. Chiu Hui Liu, Adam Cheng, Li Ching.

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Usmar, Patrick. "Born To Die: Lana Del Rey, Beauty Queen or Gothic Princess?" M/C Journal 17, no.4 (July24, 2014). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.856.

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Closer examination of contemporary art forms including music videos in addition to the Gothic’s literature legacy is essential, “as it is virtually impossible to ignore the relationship the Gothic holds to popular culture” (Piatti-Farnell ii). This article critically examines how Gothic themes and modes are used in the music videos of Lana Del Rey; particularly the “ways in which Gothic is dispersed through contemporary non-literary media” (Spooner and McEvoy 2). This work follows the argument laid down by Edwards and Monnet who describe Gothic’s assimilation into popular culture —Pop Gothic— as a powerful pop cultural force, not merely a subcultural or cult expression. By interpreting Del Rey’s work as a both a component of, and a contributor to, the Pop Gothic advance, themes of social climate, consumer culture, gender identity, sexuality and the male gaze can be interrogated. Indeed the potential for a collective crisis of these issues in early 21st Century western culture is exposed, “the façade of carnivalised surfaces is revealed to hide the chaos and entropy of existential emptiness.” (Yeo 17). Gothic modes have been approximated by Pop Gothic into the mainstream (Edwards and Monnet) as a driving force behind these contradictions and destabilisations. The Gothic has become ubiquitous within popular culture and continues to exert influence. This is easily reflected in the $392 million the first Twilight movie grossed at the box office (Edwards and Monnet). Examples are abundant in pop culture across music, film and television. Edwards and Monnet cite the movies Zombieland and Blade in the Pop Gothic march, along with TV shows including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Being Human, True Blood as well as Lady Gaga’s Fame Monster music album. Edwards and Monnet observe that the Gothic aesthetics of the 1980s and 1990s, “melancholy and imagery associated with death, dying and the undead” (3), shifted from the corners of subculture to the mainstream of millennial popular culture. With this shift comes the rebelliousness and melancholy that characterises Gothic texts. This is evident when a pop star of Lana Del Rey’s popularity —her Summertime Sadness video alone has over 160 million views on youtube.com (YouTube)— narratively represents themes of death and suicide repeatedly in her videos. In two of Lana Del Rey’s music videos —Blue Jeans and Born to Die— either she or a representation of her persona dies. In a third video, Summertime Sadness, her companion takes her own life and Lana ultimately follows suit. Themes of death and loss are just the most obvious of Gothic elements present in Del Rey’s work. Del Rey’s songs and videos speak of the American dream, of aestheticised beauty, of being immaculately presented, well dressed and having hair “beauty queen style”, as in Summertime Sadness. She depicts an excess of hedonistic consumption and love that knows no bounds, not even death. Much of the delivery has resonance with the Gothic; performatively, visually and musically, and shows a subversion and fatalism that juxtaposes, contests and contradicts pop cultural tropes (Macfarlane). This contrary nature of the Gothic, as characterised by Botting, can provoke a sense of otherness; the uncanny, including “displays of uncontrolled passion, violent emotion or flights of fancy to portrayals of perversion or obsession” (Gothic 2). It is argued that these characteristics have been commodified into merchandisable and mainstream stylistic representations (Edwards and Monnet). Del Rey’s visual work uses this otherness and representation of repressed darkness as subversion or contestation to the bubble gum consumerist, fairy tale sexualisation of the Katy Perry brand of neo-liberal pop music that floods the mainstream (Macfarlane). Del Rey also harnesses the Gothic mode in her music, underscoring social anxieties through moments of sound which act as “a sonic imp, this music enters perception through the back door, and there it does its destabilising work” (van Elferen 137). As potential psychosocial sources of this otherness in the Gothic (Botting, Gothic), Jung argued that as a collective consciousness by repressing our darkest side, we can be dislocated from it. Further he argued that many modern ills —conflict, war, disenfranchisem*nt, poverty— stem from culturally rationalised divisions of ‘good vs evil’ (Tacey). Providing a space for these dark sides to surface, Swirski comments that cultural product can act "as a social barometer and a cultural diagnostic tool. It identifies social trends and cultural patterns and weaves elaborate counterfactuals- literary fictions- that hang human faces on large-scale human abstractions such as society and culture" (1). Jung proposes the large-scale social abstraction; that to truly live with ourselves we need embrace the otherness inside us— to learn to live with it (Tacey). The Gothic may enable this living with, rather than living without. Jung asserts that we now rely so much on what we can touch, taste and own, that western culture has become a “creed without substance” (Tacey 32). In more concrete terms, Hoffie argues that popular media today tells stories: in terms of disaster and crisis: weather patterns: disastrous. Climate Change: disastrous. Global Financial Crisis: disastrous. Political situations: disastrous. Unemployment: disastrous. And so on. The high-pitched wail of this lament corrodes the peaks and troughs of potential emotional responsiveness; the vapours of benumbing apathy steam upwards like a bewitching spell. All stands still. Action, like in a bad dream, seems impossible. (14) This apathy in the face of crisis or disaster is well expressed in Del Rey’s work through the Gothic influenced lyrics and videos; she describes her partner as so good looking as to be “sick as cancer” in Blue Jeans and that her lover left her because he was “chasing paper”. Represented here is the social current that the need to acquire goods in late capitalism’s climate “of unrestrained consumerism” (Heine and Thakur 2) is her lover’s priority over companionship. Revealing more of the Gothic aesthetic is that her videos and songs represent this loss, they depict “disturbances of sanity and security” (Botting, Gothic 2) and thematically reflect the social climate of “disaster and crisis” (Hoffie 14). This sense of otherness through Gothic influences of the uncanny, death and melancholy have a significant impact on creative expression creating music videos that play like a kind of half remembered nightmare (Botting, Love Your Zombie; Macfarlane). In the black and white video for Blue Jeans the opening shot shows an image of Del Rey rippling and blurred, framed by circular waves of water as black as oil. The powerful Gothic aesthetic of the abyss is rendered here, “to convey the figurative meaning of a catastrophic situation seen as likely to occur whereby the individual will sink to immeasurable intellectual, ethical or moral depths” (Edwards and Monnet 9). This abyss is represented as Del Rey sings to her ghostly tattooed lover that she will love him until “the end of time” and climaxes in the suggestion that he drowns her. As in Edwards and Monnet‘s description of zombie films, Del Rey’s videos narratively “suggest that the postmodern condition is itself a form of madness that disseminates cultural trauma and erases historical memory” (8). This view is evident in contrasting Del Rey’s interview comment that she finds conversations about feminism boring (Cooper). Yet in her song delivery and lyrics she retains an ironic tone regards feminine power. This combination helps “produce a darkly funny and carnivalesque representation of sex and waste under late capitalism” (Edwards and Monnet 8). Further evidence of these ironies and distorted juxtapositions of loss and possession are evident in the song Radio. The video —a bricolage of retrospective fashion imagery— and lyrics hint at the persistent desire for goods in US western culture (Heine and Thakur). Simultaneously in her song Radio, she is corruptibly engorged by consumption and being consumed (Mulvey) as she sings that life is “sweet like cinnamon, a f*cking dream on Ritalin”. The video itself represents distorted dreams hyper-real on Ritalin. Del Rey’s work speaks of an excess; the overflow of sensations, sexual excess, of buying, of having, of owning, and at the same time the absence; of loss or not knowing what to have (Botting, Love Your Zombie). Exemplified by the lyrics in What Makes Us Girls, “do I know what I want?” and again in Radio “American dreams came true somehow, I swore I’d chase until I was dead”. Increasingly it is evident that Del Rey sings “as a woman who does not know what she wants” (Vigier 5). She illustrates the “endemic narcissism” (Hoffie 15) of contemporary western culture. Del Rey therefore clearly delineates much of “the loneliness, emptiness, and alienation that results from rampant consumerism and materialism under advanced capitalism” (Edwards and Monnet 8). As a theme of this representation, Del Rey implies a sense of commodified female sexual energy through the male gaze (Mulvey), along with a sense of wasted youth and opportunity in the carnivalesque National Anthem. The video, shot as if on Super 8 film, tells the story of Del Rey’s ‘character’ married to a hedonistic style of president. It is reminiscent of the JFK story including authentic and detailed presentation of costume —especially Del Rey’s Jackie Onassis fashions— the couple posing in presidential gardens with handsome mixed-race children. Lavish lifestyles are depicted whilst the characters enjoy drinking, gambling and consumerist excess, Del Rey sings "It's a love story for the new age, For the six page, We're on a quick sick rampage, Wining and dining, Drinking and driving, Excessive buying, Overdose and dyin'". In National Anthem sexual excess is one of the strongest themes communicated. Repeatedly depicted are distinct close up shots of his hand on her thigh, and vice versa. Without being sexually explicit in itself, it is an overtly sexual reference, communicating something of sexual excess because of the sheer number of times it is highlighted in close-up shots. This links to the idea of the Gothic use of jouissance, a state of: excessive energies that burst in and beyond circuits of pleasure: intensities are read in relation to a form of subjectivity that finds itself briefly and paradoxically in moments of extreme loss. (Botting, Love Your Zombie 22) Del Rey represents these moments of loss —of herself, of her man, of her power, of her identity being subsumed by his— as intense pleasure, indicated in the video through sexual referencing. Botting argues that these excesses create anxieties; that in the pursuit of postmodern excess, of ownership, of consumption: the subject internalises the inconsistencies and contradictions of capitalism, manifesting pathologies not of privation but overabundance: stress, eating disorders, self-harming, and a range of anxieties. (Love Your Zombie 22) These anxieties are further expressed in National Anthem. Del Rey sings to her lover that he cannot keep his “pants on” and she must “hold you like a python”. The python in this tale simultaneously symbolises the exotic, erotic and dangerous entrapment by her male suitor. Edwards and Monnet argue for the Gothic monster, whose sign is further referenced as Del Rey swims with crocodiles in Blue Jeans. Here the male power, patriarchy and dominance is represented as monstrous. In the video she shares the pool with her beau yet we only see Del Rey swim and writhe with the crocodiles. Analogous of her murderous lover, this adds a powerful otherness to the scene and reinforces the symbols of threatening masculinity and impeding disaster. This expression of monstrousness creates a cathartic tension as it “puts the ‘pop’ in Pop Goth: its popularity is based on the frisson of selling simultaneous aversion from and attraction to self-destruction and cultural taboo” (Edwards and Monnet 9). In a further representation of anxieties Del Rey conforms to the sexual object persona in large part through her retro pin-up iconography —meticulous attention to costume, continuous posing and pouting— and song lyrics (Buszek). As in National Anthem her lyrics talk of devotion and male strength to protect and to “keep me safe in his bell tower”. Her videos, whilst they may show some of her strength, ultimately reside in patriarchal resolution (Mulvey). She is generally confounded by the male figures in her videos appearing to be very much alone and away from them: most notably in Blue Jeans, Born to Die and Video Games. In two cases it is suggested she is murdered by the male figures of her love. Her costume and appearance —iconic 1960’s swimsuits, pantsuits and big hairstyles in National Anthem— portray something of the retro pin-up. Buszek argues that at one time “young feminists may poke fun at the pin-up, but they do so in ways that betray affinities with, even affection for, the genre itself” (3). Del Rey simultaneously adheres to and confronts these normative gender roles, as is characteristic of the Gothic mode (Botting, Gothic). These very Gothic contradictions are also evident in Del Rey’s often ironic or mocking song delivery, undermining apparent heteronormative sexual and gender positioning. In National Anthem she sings, as if parodying women who might sincerely ask, “do you think he’ll buy me lots of diamonds?”. Her conformity is however, subverted. In Del Rey’s videos, clear evidence exists in her facial expressions where she consistently portrays Gothic elements of uncertainty, sorrow, grief and a pervading sense that she does not belong in this world (Botting, Gothic). Whilst depicted as a brooding and mourning widow —simultaneously playing the mistress luxuriating on a lion skin rug— in National Anthem Del Rey sings, “money is the anthem of success” without a smile or sense of any attachment to the lyrics. In the same song she sings “God you’re so handsome” without a trace of glee, pleasure or optimism. In the video for Blue Jeans she sings, “I will love you til the end of time” staring sorrowfully into the distance or directly at the camera. This confident yet ‘dead stare’ emphasises the overall juxtaposition of the largely positive lyrical expression, with the sorrowful facial expression and low sung notes. Del Rey signifies repeatedly that something is amiss; that the American dream is over and that even with apparent success within this sphere, there exists only emptiness and isolation (Botting, Love Your Zombie). Further contradictions exist as Lana Del Rey walks this blurred line —as is the Gothic mode— between heteronormative and ambiguous gender roles (Botting, Gothic; Edwards and Monnet). Lana Del Rey oscillates between positions of strength and independence —shown in her deadpan to-camera delivery— to that of weakness and subjugation. As she plays narrator, Del Rey symbolically reclaims some power as she retells the tragic story of Born to Die from her throne. Represented here Del Rey’s persona exerts a troubled malevolence, with two tigers calmly sat by her side: her benevolent pets, or symbols of contrived excess. She simultaneously presents the angelic —resplendent in sheer white dress and garland ‘crown’ headdress of the spurned bride in the story— and the stoic as she stares down the camera. Del Rey is powerful and in many senses threatening. At one point she draws a manicured thumbnail across her neck in a cut-throat gesture; a movement echoed later by her lover. Her character ultimately walks symbolically —and latently— to her death. She neither remedies her position as subservient, subordinate female nor revisits any kind of redemption for the excessive male dominance in her videos. The “excess is countered by greater excess” (Botting Love Your Zombie 27) and leads to otherness. In this reading of Del Rey’s work, there are representations that remain explicitly Pop Gothic, eliciting sensations of paranoia and fear, overloading her videos with these signs (Yeo). These signs elicit the otherness of the Gothic mode; expressed in visual symbols of violence, passion or obsession (Botting, Gothic). In our digital visual age, subjecting an eager viewer to this excess of signs creates the conditions for over-reading of a growing gender or consumerist paranoia, enabled by the Gothic, “paranoia stems from an excessive over-reading of signs and is a product of interpretation, misinterpretation and re-interpretation based on one’s knowledge or lack of it” (Yeo 22). Del Rey stimulates these sensations of paranoia partly through interlaying intertextual references. She does this thematically —Gothic melancholy— and pop culturally channelling Marilyn Monroe and other fashion iconography, as well as through explicit textual references, as in her most recent single Ultraviolence. In Ultraviolence, Del Rey sings “He hit me and it felt like a kiss”. Effortlessly and simultaneously she celebrates and lays bare her pain; however the intertextual reference to the violent controversy of the film A Clockwork Orange serves to aestheticise the domestic violence she describes. With Del Rey it may be that as meaning is sought amongst the texts as Macfarlane wrote about Lady Gaga, Del Rey’s “truth is ultimately irrelevant in the face of its interlayed performance” (130). Del Rey’s Gothic mode of ambiguity, of transgressed boundaries and unclear lines, shows “this ambience of perpetually deferred climax is no stranger to contemporary culture” (Hoffie 15) and may go some way to expressing something of the “lived experience of her audience” (Vigier 1). Hermes argues that in post-feminist pop culture, strong independent post-feminist women can be characterised by their ability to break traditional taboos, question or hold up for interrogation norms and traditions, but that ultimately narrative arches tend to restore the patriarchal norm. Edwards and Monnet assert that the Gothic in Pop Gothic cultural representation can become “post-race, post-sexuality, post-gender” (6). In places Del Ray exhibits this postmodernism but through the use of Gothic mode goes outside political debates and blurs clear lines of feminist discourse (Botting, Love Your Zombie). Whilst a duality in the texts exists; comments on consumerism, the emptiness of capitalist society and a suicidal expression of hopelessness, are undermined as she demonstrates conformity to subservient gender roles and her ambiguously ironic need to be “young and beautiful”. To be consumed by her man thus defines her value as an object within a consumerist neo-liberal trope (Jameson). This analysis goes some way to confirming Hermes’ assertion that in this post-feminist climate there has been a “loss of a political agenda, or the foundation for a new one, where it signposts the overcoming of unproductive old distinctions between feminist and feminine” (79). Hermes further argues, with reference to television shows Ally McBeal and Sex and the City, that presentation of female characters or personas has moved forward; the man is no longer the lone guarantor of a woman’s happiness. Yet many of the tropes in Del Rey’s work are familiar; overwhelming love for her companion equal only to the emphasis on physical appearance. Del Rey breaks taboos —she is powerful, sexual and a romantic predator, without being a demon seductress— and satirises consumerist excess and gender inequality; yet she remains sexually and politically subservient to the whim and sometimes violently expressed or implied male gaze (Mulvey). Del Rey may well represent something of Vigier’s assertion that whilst society has clear direction for the ‘success’ of women, “that real liberation and genuine satisfaction elude them” (1). In closing, there is no clear answer as to whether Del Rey is a Beauty Queen or Gothic Princess; she is neither and she is both. In Vigier’s words, “self-exploitation or self-destruction cannot be the only choices open to young women today” (13). Del Rey’s work is provocative on multiple levels. It hints at the pull of rampant consumerism and the immediacy of narcissistic desires, interlinked with contradictions which indicate the potential for social crises. This is shown in Del Rey’s use of the Gothic — otherness, the monstrous, darkness and death— and its juxtaposition with heteronormative gender representations which highlights the persistent commodification of the female body, its subjugation to male power and the potential for deep anxieties in 21st-century identity. References Blue Jeans. Dir. Yoann Lemoine. Perf. Lana Del Rey. Interscope Records, 2012. Botting, Fred. Gothic. New York: Routledge, 2014. Botting, Fred. "Love Your Zombie." The Gothic in Contemporary Literature and Popular Culture. Ed. Edwards, Justin and Agnieszka Monnet. New York: Routledge, 2012. 19-36. Buszek, Maria. Pin-Up Grrrls Feminism, Sexuality and Popular Culture. London: Duke University Press, 2006. Cooper, Duncan. "Lana Del Rey Cover Interview." Fader, June 2014. Edwards, Justin, and Agnieszka Monnet. "Introduction." The Gothic in Contemporary Literature and Popular Culture. Eds. Justin Edwards and A. Monnet. New York: Routledge, 2012. 1-18. Heine, Jorge, and Ramesh Thakur. The Dark Side of Globalisation. New York: UN UP, 2011. Hermes, Joke. "The Tragic Success of Feminism." Feminism in Popular Culture. Eds. Joanne Hollows and Rachel Moseley. New York: Berg, 2006. 79-95. Hoffie, Pat. "Deadly Ennui." Artlink Magazine 32.4 (2012): 15-16. Jameson, Fredric. "Globalisation and Political Strategy." New Left Review 2.4 (2000): 49-68. Lana Del Rey. "Radio." Born To Die. Interscope Records, 2012. "Lana Del Rey - Summertime Sadness" YouTube, n.d. 12 June 2014 ‹http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVjsGKrE6E8›. Lana Del Rey. "This Is What Makes Us Girls." Born To Die. Interscope Records, 2012. Macfarlane, K. "The Monstrous House of Gaga." The Gothic in Contemporary Literature and Popular Culture. Ed. Justin Edwards and A. Monnet. New York: Routledge, 2012. 114-134. Mestrovic, Stjepan. Postemotional Society. London: Sage, 1997. Mulvey, Laura. Visual and other Pleasures. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. National Anthem. Dir. Anthony Mandler. Perf. Lana Del Rey. Interscope Records, 2012. Paglia, Camille. Lady Gaga and the Death of Sex. 12 Sep. 2010. 2 June 2014 ‹http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/public/magazine/article389697.ece›. Piatti-Farnell, Lorna. "Introduction: a Place for Contemporary Gothic." Aeternum: the Journal of Contemporary Gothic Studies 1.1 (2014): i-iv. Spooner, Catherine, and Emma McEvoy. The Routledge Companion to Gothic. New York: Routledge, 2007. Summertime Sadness. Dir. Chris Sweeney. Perf. Lana Del Rey. Interscope Records, 2013. Swirski, Peter. American Utopia and Social Engineering in Literature, Social Thought, and Political History. New York: Routledge, 2011. Tacey, David. The Jung Reader. New York: Routledge, 2012. Van Elferen, Isabella. "Spectural Liturgy, Transgression, Ritual and Music in Gothic." The Gothic in Contemporary Literature and Popular Culture. Eds. Justin Edwards and A. Monnet. New York: Routledge, 2012. 135-147. Vigier, Catherine. "The Meaning of Lana Del Rey." Zeteo: The Journal of Interdisciplinary Writing Fall (2012): 1-16. Yeo, David. "Gothic Paranoia in David Fincher's Seven, The Game and Fight Club." Aeternum: The Journal Of Contemporary Gothic Studies 1.1 (2014): 16-25. Young and Beautiful. Dir. Chris Sweeney. Perf. Lana Del Rey. Interscope Records, 2013.

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Brabazon, Tara. "Welcome to the Robbiedome." M/C Journal 4, no.3 (June1, 2001). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1907.

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Abstract:

One of the greatest joys in watching Foxtel is to see all the crazy people who run talk shows. Judgement, ridicule and generalisations slip from their tongues like overcooked lamb off a bone. From Oprah to Rikki, from Jerry to Mother Love, the posterior of pop culture claims a world-wide audience. Recently, a new talk diva was added to the pay television stable. Dr Laura Schlessinger, the Mother of Morals, prowls the soundstage. attacking 'selfish acts' such as divorce, de facto relationships and voting Democrat. On April 11, 2001, a show aired in Australia that added a new demon to the decadence of the age. Dr Laura had been told that a disgusting video clip, called 'Rock DJ', had been televised at 2:30pm on MTV. Children could have been watching. The footage that so troubled our doyenne of daytime featured the British performer Robbie Williams not only stripping in front of disinterested women, but then removing skin, muscle and tissue in a desperate attempt to claim their gaze. This was too much for Dr Laura. She was horrified: her strident tone became piercing. She screeched, "this is si-ee-ck." . My paper is drawn to this sick masculinity, not to judge - but to laugh and theorise. Robbie Williams, the deity of levity, holds a pivotal role in theorising the contemporary 'crisis' of manhood. To paraphrase Austin Powers, Williams returned the ger to singer. But Williams also triumphed in a captivatingly original way. He is one of the few members of a boy band who created a successful solo career without regurgitating the middle of the road mantras of boys, girls, love, loss and whining about it. Williams' journey through post-war popular music, encompassing influences from both Sinatra and Sonique, forms a functional collage, rather than patchwork, of masculinity. He has been prepared to not only age in public, but to discuss the crevices and cracks in the facade. He strips, smokes, plays football, wears interesting underwear and drinks too much. My short paper trails behind this combustible masculinity, focussing on his sorties with both masculine modalities and the rock discourse. My words attack the gap between text and readership, beat and ear, music and men. The aim is to reveal how this 'sick masculinity' problematises the conservative rendering of men's crisis. Come follow me I'm an honorary Sean Connery, born '74 There's only one of me … Press be asking do I care for sodomy I don't know, yeah, probably I've been looking for serial monogamy Not some bird that looks like Billy Connolly But for now I'm down for ornithology Grab your binoculars, come follow me. 'Kids,' Robbie Williams Robbie Williams is a man for our age. Between dating supermodels and Geri 'Lost Spice' Halliwell [1], he has time to "love … his mum and a pint," (Ansen 85) but also subvert the Oasis co*ck(rock)tail by frocking up for a television appearance. Williams is important to theories of masculine representation. As a masculinity to think with, he creates popular culture with a history. In an era where Madonna practices yoga and wears cowboy boots, it is no surprise that by June 2000, Robbie Williams was voted the world's sexist man [2]. A few months later, in the October edition of Vogue, he posed in a British flag bikini. It is reassuring in an era where a 12 year old boy states that "You aren't a man until you shoot at something," (Issac in Mendel 19) that positive male role models exist who are prepared to both wear a frock and strip on national television. Reading Robbie Williams is like dipping into the most convincing but draining of intellectual texts. He is masculinity in motion, conveying foreignness, transgression and corruption, bartering in the polymorphous economies of sex, colonialism, race, gender and nation. His career has spanned the boy bands, try-hard rock, video star and hybrid pop performer. There are obvious resonances between the changes to Williams and alterations in masculinity. In 1988, Suzanne Moore described (the artist still known as) Prince as "the pimp of postmodernism." (165-166) Over a decade later, the simulacra has a new tour guide. Williams revels in the potency of representation. He rarely sings about love or romance, as was his sonic fodder in Take That. Instead, his performance is fixated on becoming a better man, glancing an analytical eye over other modes of masculinity. Notions of masculine crisis and sickness have punctuated this era. Men's studies is a boom area of cultural studies, dislodging the assumed structures of popular culture [3]. William Pollack's Real Boys has created a culture of changing expectations for men. The greater question arising from his concerns is why these problems, traumas and difficulties are emerging in our present. Pollack's argument is that boys and young men invest energy and time "disguising their deepest and most vulnerable feelings." (15) This masking is difficult to discern within dance and popular music. Through lyrics and dancing, videos and choreography, masculinity is revealed as convoluted, complex and fragmented. While rock music is legitimised by dominant ideologies, marginalised groups frequently use disempowered genres - like country, dance and rap genres - to present oppositional messages. These competing representations expose seamless interpretations of competent masculinity. Particular skills are necessary to rip the metaphoric pacifier out of the masculine mouth of popular culture. Patriarchal pop revels in the paradoxes of everyday life. Frequently these are nostalgic visions, which Kimmel described as a "retreat to a bygone era." (87) It is the recognition of a shared, simpler past that provides reinforcement to heteronormativity. Williams, as a gaffer tape masculinity, pulls apart the gaps and crevices in representation. Theorists must open the interpretative space encircling popular culture, disrupting normalising criteria. Multiple nodes of assessment allow a ranking of competent masculinity. From sport to business, drinking to sex, masculinity is transformed into a wired site of ranking, judgement and determination. Popular music swims in the spectacle of maleness. From David Lee Roth's skied splits to Eminem's beanie, young men are interpellated as subjects in patriarchy. Robbie Williams is a history lesson in post war masculinity. This nostalgia is conservative in nature. The ironic pastiche within his music videos features motor racing, heavy metal and Bond films. 'Rock DJ', the 'sick text' that vexed Doctor Laura, is Williams' most elaborate video. Set in a rollerdrome with female skaters encircling a central podium, the object of fascination and fetish is a male stripper. This strip is different though, as it disrupts the power held by men in phallocentralism. After being confronted by Williams' naked body, the observing women are both bored and disappointed at the lack-lustre deployment of masculine genitalia. After this display, Williams appears embarrassed, confused and humiliated. As Buchbinder realised, "No actual penis could every really measure up to the imagined sexual potency and social or magical power of the phallus." (49) To render this banal experience of male nudity ridiculous, Williams then proceeds to remove skin and muscle. He finally becomes an object of attraction for the female DJ only in skeletal form. By 'going all the way,' the strip confirms the predictability of masculinity and the ordinariness of the male body. For literate listeners though, a higher level of connotation is revealed. The song itself is based on Barry White's melody for 'It's ecstasy (when you lay down next to me).' Such intertextuality accesses the meta-racist excesses of a licentious black male sexuality. A white boy dancer must deliver an impotent, but ironic, rendering of White's (love unlimited) orchestration of potent sexuality. Williams' iconography and soundtrack is refreshing, emerging from an era of "men who cling … tightly to their illusions." (Faludi 14) When the ideological drapery is cut away, the male body is a major disappointment. Masculinity is an anxious performance. Fascinatingly, this deconstructive video has been demeaned through its labelling as p*rnography [4]. Oddly, a man who is prepared to - literally - shave the skin of masculinity is rendered offensive. Men's studies, like feminism, has been defrocking masculinity for some time. Robinson for example, expressed little sympathy for "whiny men jumping on the victimisation bandwagon or playing cowboys and Indians at warrior weekends and beating drums in sweat lodges." (6) By grating men's identity back to the body, the link between surface and depth - or identity and self - is forged. 'Rock DJ' attacks the new subjectivities of the male body by not only generating self-surveillance, but humour through the removal of clothes, skin and muscle. He continues this play with the symbols of masculine performance throughout the album Sing when you're winning. Featuring soccer photographs of players, coaches and fans, closer inspection of the images reveal that Robbie Williams is actually every character, in every role. His live show also enfolds diverse performances. Singing a version of 'My Way,' with cigarette in tow, he remixes Frank Sinatra into a replaying and recutting of masculine fabric. He follows one dominating masculinity with another: the Bond-inspired 'Millennium.' Some say that we are players Some say that we are pawns But we've been making money Since the day we were born Robbie Williams is comfortably located in a long history of post-Sinatra popular music. He mocks the rock ethos by combining guitars and drums with a gleaming brass section, hailing the lounge act of Dean Martin, while also using rap and dance samples. Although carrying fifty year's of crooner baggage, the spicy scent of hom*osexuality has also danced around Robbie Williams' career. Much of this ideology can be traced back to the Take That years. As Gary Barlow and Jason Orange commented at the time, Jason: So the rumour is we're all gay now are we? Gary: Am I gay? I am? Why? Oh good. Just as long as we know. Howard: Does anyone think I'm gay? Jason: No, you're the only one people think is straight. Howard: Why aren't I gay? What's wrong with me? Jason: It's because you're such a fine figure of macho manhood.(Kadis 17) For those not literate in the Take That discourse, it should come as no surprise that Howard was the TT equivalent of The Beatle's Ringo Starr or Duran Duran's Andy Taylor. Every boy band requires the ugly, shy member to make the others appear taller and more attractive. The inference of this dialogue is that the other members of the group are simply too handsome to be heterosexual. This ambiguous sexuality has followed Williams into his solo career, becoming fodder for those lads too unappealing to be hom*osexual: Oasis. Born to be mild I seem to spend my life Just waiting for the chorus 'Cause the verse is never nearly Good enough Robbie Williams "Singing for the lonely." Robbie Williams accesses a bigger, brighter and bolder future than Britpop. While the Gallagher brothers emulate and worship the icons of 1960s British music - from the Beatles' haircuts to the Stones' psychedelia - Williams' songs, videos and persona are chattering in a broader cultural field. From Noel Cowardesque allusions to the ordinariness of pub culture, Williams is much more than a pretty-boy singer. He has become an icon of English masculinity, enclosing all the complexity that these two terms convey. Williams' solo success from 1999-2001 occurred at the time of much parochial concern that British acts were not performing well in the American charts. It is bemusing to read Billboard over this period. The obvious quality of Britney Spears is seen to dwarf the mediocrity of British performers. The calibre of Fatboy Slim, carrying a smiley backpack stuffed with reflexive dance culture, is neither admitted nor discussed. It is becoming increasing strange to monitor the excessive fame of Williams in Britain, Europe, Asia and the Pacific when compared to his patchy career in the United States. Even some American magazines are trying to grasp the disparity. The swaggering king of Britpop sold a relatively measly 600,000 copies of his U.S. debut album, The ego has landed … Maybe Americans didn't appreciate his songs about being famous. (Ask Dr. Hip 72) In the first few years of the 2000s, it has been difficult to discuss a unified Anglo-American musical formation. Divergent discursive frameworks have emerged through this British evasion. There is no longer an agreed centre to the musical model. Throughout 1990s Britain, blackness jutted out of dance floor mixes, from reggae to dub, jazz and jungle. Plied with the coldness of techno was an almost too hot hip hop. Yet both were alternate trajectories to Cool Britannia. London once more became swinging, or as Vanity Fair declared, "the nerve centre of pop's most cohesive scene since the Pacific Northwest grunge explosion of 1991." (Kamp 102) Through Britpop, the clock turned back to the 1960s, a simpler time before race became 'a problem' for the nation. An affiliation was made between a New Labour, formed by the 1997 British election, and the rebirth of a Swinging London [5]. This style-driven empire supposedly - again - made London the centre of the world. Britpop was itself a misnaming. It was a strong sense of Englishness that permeated the lyrics, iconography and accent. Englishness requires a Britishness to invoke a sense of bigness and greatness. The contradictions and excesses of Blur, Oasis and Pulp resonate in the gap between centre and periphery, imperial core and colonised other. Slicing through the arrogance and anger of the Gallaghers is a yearning for colonial simplicity, when the pink portions of the map were the stable subjects of geography lessons, rather than the volatile embodiment of postcolonial theory. Simon Gikandi argues that "the central moments of English cultural identity were driven by doubts and disputes about the perimeters of the values that defined Englishness." (x) The reason that Britpop could not 'make it big' in the United States is because it was recycling an exhausted colonial dreaming. Two old Englands were duelling for ascendancy: the Oasis-inflected Manchester working class fought Blur-inspired London art school chic. This insular understanding of difference had serious social and cultural consequences. The only possible representation of white, British youth was a tabloidisation of Oasis's behaviour through swearing, drug excess and violence. Simon Reynolds realised that by returning to the three minute pop tune that the milkman can whistle, reinvoking parochial England with no black people, Britpop has turned its back defiantly on the future. (members.aol.com/blissout/Britpop.html) Fortunately, another future had already happened. The beats per minute were pulsating with an urgent affirmation of change, hybridity and difference. Hip hop and techno mapped a careful cartography of race. While rock was colonialisation by other means, hip hop enacted a decolonial imperative. Electronic dance music provided a unique rendering of identity throughout the 1990s. It was a mode of musical communication that moved across national and linguistic boundaries, far beyond Britpop or Stateside rock music. While the Anglo American military alliance was matched and shadowed by postwar popular culture, Brit-pop signalled the end of this hegemonic formation. From this point, English pop and American rock would not sail as smoothly over the Atlantic. While 1995 was the year of Wonderwall, by 1996 the Britpop bubble corroded the faces of the Gallagher brothers. Oasis was unable to complete the American tour. Yet other cultural forces were already active. 1996 was also the year of Trainspotting, with "Born Slippy" being the soundtrack for a blissful journey under the radar. This was a cultural force that no longer required America as a reference point [6]. Robbie Williams was able to integrate the histories of Britpop and dance culture, instigating a complex dialogue between the two. Still, concern peppered music and entertainment journals that British performers were not accessing 'America.' As Sharon Swart stated Britpop acts, on the other hand, are finding it less easy to crack the U.S. market. The Spice Girls may have made some early headway, but fellow purveyors of pop, such as Robbie Williams, can't seem to get satisfaction from American fans. (35 British performers had numerous cultural forces working against them. Flat global sales, the strength of the sterling and the slow response to the new technological opportunities of DVD, all caused problems. While Britpop "cleaned house," (Boehm 89) it was uncertain which cultural formation would replace this colonising force. Because of the complex dialogues between the rock discourse and dance culture, time and space were unable to align into a unified market. American critics simply could not grasp Robbie Williams' history, motives or iconography. It's Robbie's world, we just buy tickets for it. Unless, of course you're American and you don't know jack about soccer. That's the first mistake Williams makes - if indeed one of his goals is to break big in the U.S. (and I can't believe someone so ambitious would settle for less.) … Americans, it seems, are most fascinated by British pop when it presents a mirror image of American pop. (Woods 98 There is little sense that an entirely different musical economy now circulates, where making it big in the United States is not the singular marker of credibility. Williams' demonstrates commitment to the international market, focussing on MTV Asia, MTV online, New Zealand and Australian audiences [7]. The Gallagher brothers spent much of the 1990s trying to be John Lennon. While Noel, at times, knocked at the door of rock legends through "Wonderwall," he snubbed Williams' penchant for pop glory, describing him as a "fat dancer." (Gallagher in Orecklin 101) Dancing should not be decried so summarily. It conveys subtle nodes of bodily knowledge about men, women, sex and desire. While men are validated for bodily movement through sport, women's dancing remains a performance of voyeuristic attention. Such a divide is highly repressive of men who dance, with gayness infiltrating the metaphoric masculine dancefloor [8]. Too often the binary of male and female is enmeshed into the divide of rock and dance. Actually, these categories slide elegantly over each other. The male pop singers are located in a significant semiotic space. Robbie Williams carries these contradictions and controversy. NO! Robbie didn't go on NME's cover in a 'desperate' attempt to seduce nine-year old knickerwetters … YES! He used to be teenybopper fodder. SO WHAT?! So did the Beatles the Stones, the Who, the Kinks, etc blah blah pseudohistoricalrockbollocks. NO! Making music that gurlz like is NOT a crime! (Wells 62) There remains an uncertainty in his performance of masculinity and at times, a deliberate ambivalence. He grafts subversiveness into a specific lineage of English pop music. The aim for critics of popular music is to find a way to create a rhythm of resistance, rather than melody of credible meanings. In summoning an archaeology of the archive, we begin to write a popular music history. Suzanne Moore asked why men should "be interested in a sexual politics based on the frightfully old-fashioned ideas of truth, identity and history?" (175) The reason is now obvious. Femininity is no longer alone on the simulacra. It is impossible to separate real men from the representations of masculinity that dress the corporeal form. Popular music is pivotal, not for collapsing the representation into the real, but for making the space between these states livable, and pleasurable. Like all semiotic sicknesses, the damaged, beaten and bandaged masculinity of contemporary music swaddles a healing pedagogic formation. Robbie Williams enables the writing of a critical history of post Anglo-American music [9]. Popular music captures such stories of place and identity. Significantly though, it also opens out spaces of knowing. There is an investment in rhythm that transgresses national histories of music. While Williams has produced albums, singles, video and endless newspaper copy, his most important revelations are volatile and ephemeral in their impact. He increases the popular cultural vocabulary of masculinity. [1] The fame of both Williams and Halliwell was at such a level that it was reported in the generally conservative, pages of Marketing. The piece was titled "Will Geri's fling lose its fizz?" Marketing, August 2000: 17. [2] For poll results, please refer to "Winners and Losers," Time International, Vol. 155, Issue 23, June 12, 2000, 9 [3] For a discussion of this growth in academic discourse on masculinity, please refer to Paul Smith's "Introduction," in P. Smith (ed.), Boys: Masculinity in contemporary culture. Colorado: Westview Press, 1996. [4] Steve Futterman described Rock DJ as the "least alluring p*rn video on MTV," in "The best and worst: honour roll," Entertainment Weekly 574-575 (December 22-December 29 2000): 146. [5] Michael Bracewell stated that "pop provides an unofficial cartography of its host culture, charting the national mood, marking the crossroads between the major social trends and the tunnels of the zeitgeist," in "Britpop's coming home, it's coming home." New Statesman .(February 21 1997): 36. [6] It is important to make my point clear. The 'America' that I am summoning here is a popular cultural formation, which possesses little connection with the territory, institution or defence initiatives of the United States. Simon Frith made this distinction clear, when he stated that "the question becomes whether 'America' can continue to be the mythical locale of popular culture as it has been through most of this century. As I've suggested, there are reasons now to suppose that 'America' itself, as a pop cultural myth, no longer bears much resemblance to the USA as a real place even in the myth." This statement was made in "Anglo-America and its discontents," Cultural Studies 5 1991: 268. [7] To observe the scale of attention paid to the Asian and Pacific markets, please refer to http://robbiewilliams.com/july13scroll.html, http://robbiewilliams.com/july19scroll.html and http://robbiewilliams.com/july24scroll.html, accessed on March 3, 2001 [8] At its most naïve, J. Michael Bailey and Michael Oberschneider asked, "Why are gay men so motivated to dance? One hypothesis is that gay men dance in order to be feminine. In other words, gay men dance because women do. An alternative hypothesis is that gay men and women share a common factor in their emotional make-up that makes dancing especially enjoyable," from "Sexual orientation in professional dance," Archives of Sexual Behaviour. 26.4 (August 1997). Such an interpretation is particularly ludicrous when considering the pre-rock and roll masculine dancing rituals in the jive, Charleston and jitterbug. Once more, the history of rock music is obscuring the history of dance both before the mid 1950s and after acid house. [9] Women, gay men and black communities through much of the twentieth century have used these popular spaces. For example, Lynne Segal, in Slow Motion. London: Virago, 1990, stated that "through dancing, athletic and erotic performance, but most powerfully through music, Black men could express something about the body and its physicality, about emotions and their cosmic reach, rarely found in white culture - least of all in white male culture,": 191 References Ansen, D., Giles, J., Kroll, J., Gates, D. and Schoemer, K. "What's a handsome lad to do?" Newsweek 133.19 (May 10, 1999): 85. "Ask Dr. Hip." U.S. News and World Report 129.16 (October 23, 2000): 72. Bailey, J. Michael., and Oberschneider, Michael. "Sexual orientation in professional dance." Archives of Sexual Behaviour. 26.4 (August 1997):expanded academic database [fulltext]. Boehm, E. "Pop will beat itself up." Variety 373.5 (December 14, 1998): 89. Bracewell, Michael. "Britpop's coming home, it's coming home." New Statesman.(February 21 1997): 36. Buchbinder, David. Performance Anxieties .Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 1998. Faludi, Susan. Stiffed. London: Chatto and Windus, 1999. Frith, Simon. "Anglo-America and its discontents." Cultural Studies. 5 1991. Futterman, Steve. "The best and worst: honour roll." Entertainment Weekly, 574-575 (December 22-December 29 2000): 146. Gikandi, Simon. Maps of Englishness. New York: Columbia University Press, 1996. Kadis, Alex. Take That: In private. London: Virgin Books, 1994. Kamp, D. "London Swings! Again!" Vanity Fair ( March 1997): 102. Kimmel, Michael. Manhood in America. New York: The Free Press, 1996. Mendell, Adrienne. How men think. New York: Fawcett, 1996. Moore, Susan. "Getting a bit of the other - the pimps of postmodernism." In Rowena Chapman and Jonathan Rutherford (ed.) Male Order .London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1988. 165-175. Orecklin, Michele. "People." Time. 155.10 (March 13, 2000): 101. Pollack, William. Real boys. Melbourne: Scribe Publications, 1999. Reynolds, Simon. members.aol.com/blissout/britpop.html. Accessed on April 15, 2001. Robinson, David. No less a man. Bowling Green: Bowling Green State University, 1994. Segal, Lynne. Slow Motion. London: Virago, 1990. Smith, Paul. "Introduction" in P. Smith (ed.), Boys: Masculinity in contemporary culture. Colorado: Westview Press, 1996. Swart, S. "U.K. Showbiz" Variety.(December 11-17, 2000): 35. Sexton, Paul and Masson, Gordon. "Tips for Brits who want U.S. success" Billboard .(September 9 2000): 1. Wells, Steven. "Angst." NME.(November 21 1998): 62. "Will Geri's fling lose its fizz?" Marketing.(August 2000): 17. Woods, S. "Robbie Williams Sing when you're winning" The Village Voice. 45.52. (January 2, 2001): 98.

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Weiskopf-Ball, Emily. "Experiencing Reality through Cookbooks: How Cookbooks Shape and Reveal Our Identities." M/C Journal 16, no.3 (June23, 2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.650.

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Introduction In October of 2004, La Presse asked its Quebecois reading audience a very simple question: “What is your favourite cookbook and why?” As Marie Marquis reports in her essay “The Cookbooks Quebecers Prefer: More Than Just Recipes,” “two weeks later, 363 e-mail responses had been received” (214). From the answers, it was clear that despite the increase in television cooking shows, Internet cooking sites, and YouTube how-to videos, cookbooks were not only still being used, but that people had strong allegiances to their favourite ones. Marquis’s essay provides concrete evidence that cookbooks are not meaningless objects. Rather, her use of relevant quotations from the survey proves that they are associated with strong memories and have been used to create bonds between individuals and across generations. Moreover, these quotations reveal that individuals use cookbooks to construct personal narratives that they share with others. In her philosophical analysis of foodmaking as a thoughtful practice, Lisa Heldke helps move the discussion of cooking and, consequently of cookbooks, forward by explaining that the age-old dichotomy between theory and practice merges in food preparation (206). Foodmaking, she explains through her example of kneading bread, requires both a theoretical understanding of what makes bread rise and a practical knowledge of the skill required to achieve the desired results. Much as Susan Leonardi argues that recipes need “a recommendation, a context, a point, a reason-to-be” (340), Heldke advocates in “Recipes for Theory Making” that recipes offer us ideas that we need to either accept or refuse. These ideas include, but are not limited to, what makes a good meal, what it means to eat healthy, what it means to be Italian or vegan. Cookbooks can take many forms. As the cover art from academic documents on the nature, role, and value of cooking and cookbooks clearly demonstrates, a “cookbook” may be an ornate box filled with recipe cards (Floyd and Forster) or may be a bunch of random pieces of paper organised by dividers and held together by a piece of elastic (Tye). The Internet has created many new options for recipe collecting and sharing. Websites such as Allrecipes.com and Cooks.com are open access forums where people can easily upload, download, and bookmark favourite foods. Yet, Laura Shapiro argues in Something from the Oven that the mere presence of a cookbook in one’s home does not mean it is actually used. While “popular cookbooks tell us a great deal about the culinary climate of a given period [...] what they can’t convey is a sense of the day-to-day cookery as it [is] genuinely experienced in the kitchens of real life” (xxi). The same conclusion can be applied to recipe websites. Personalised and family cookbooks are much different and much more telling documents than either unpersonalised printed books or Internet options. Family cookbooks can also take any shape or form but I define them as compilations that have been created by a single person or a small group of individuals as she/he/they evolve over time. They can be handwritten or typed and inserted into either an existing cookbook, scrapbooked, or bound in some other way. The Internet may also help here as bookmaking sites such as Blurb.com allow people to make, and even sell, their own printed books. These can be personalised with pictures and scrapbook-like embellishments. The recipes in these personal collections are influenced by contact with other people as well as printed and online publications. Also impacting these works are individual realities such as gender, race, class, and work. Unfortunately, these documents have not been the focus of much academic attention as food scholars generally analyse the texts within them rather than their practical and actual use. In order to properly understand the value and role of personal and family cookbooks in our daily lives, we must move away from generalisations to specific case studies. Only by looking at people in relationship with them, who are actually using and compiling their own recipe collections or opting instead to turn to either printed books or their computers, can we see the importance and value of family cookbooks. In order to address this methodological problem, this essay analyses a number of cookbook-related experiences that I have witnessed and/or been a part of in my own home. By moving away from the theoretical and focusing on the practical, I aim to advance Heldke’s argument that recipe reading, like foodmaking, is a thoughtful practice with important lessons. Learning to Cook and Learning to Live: What Cookbooks Teach Us Once upon a time, a mother and her two, beautiful daughters decided to make chocolate chip cookies. They took out all the bowls and utensils and ingredients they needed. The mother then plopped the two girls down among all of the paraphernalia on the counter. First, they beat the butter using their super cool Kitchen Aid mixer. Then they beat in the sugar. Carefully, they cracked and beat in the eggs. Then they dumped in the flour. They dumped in the baking powder. They dumped in the vanilla. And they dumped in the chocolate chips. Together, they rolled the cookies, placed them on a baking sheet, pat them down with a fork, and placed them in a hot oven. The house smelled amazing! The mother and her daughters were looking forward to eating the cookies when, all of a sudden, a great big dog showed up at the door. The mother ran outside to shoo the dog home yelling, “Go home, now! Go away!” By the time she got back, the cookies had started to burn and the house stank! The mother and her two daughters took all the cookie-making stuff back out. They threw out the ruined cookies. And they restarted. They beat the butter using their super cool Kitchen Aid mixer. Then they beat in the sugar. Carefully, they cracked and beat in the eggs. Then they dumped in the flour. They dumped in the baking powder. They dumped in the vanilla. And they dumped in the chocolate chips. Together, they rolled the cookies, placed them on a baking sheet, pat them down with a fork, and placed them in a hot oven. This story that my oldest daughter and I invented together goes on to have the cookies ruined by a chatty neighbour before finally finding fruition in a batch of successfully baked cookies. This is a story that we tell together as we get her ready for bed. One person is always the narrator who lists the steps while the other makes the sound effects of the beating mixer and the dumping ingredients. Together, we act out the story by rolling the cookies, patting them, and waving our hands in front of our faces when the burnt cookies have stunk up the house. While she takes great pleasure in its narrative, I take greater pleasure in the fact that, at three years of age, she has a rudimentary understanding of how a basic recipe works. In fact, only a few months ago I observed this mixture of knowledge and skill merge when I had to leave her on the counter while I cleaned up a mess on the floor. By the time I got back to her, she had finished mixing the dry ingredients in with the wet ones. I watched her from across the kitchen as she turned off the Kitchen Aid mixer, slowly spooned the flour mixture into the bowl, and turned the machine back on. She watched the batter mix until the flour had been absorbed and then repeated the process. While I am very thankful that she did not try to add the vanilla or the chocolate chips, this experience essentially proves that one can learn through simple observation and repetition. It is true that she did not have a cookbook in front of her, that she did not know the precise measurements of the ingredients being put into the bowl, and that at her age she would not have been able to make this recipe without my help. However, this examples proves Heldke’s argument that foodmaking is a thoughtful process as it is as much about instinct as it is about following a recipe. Once she is able to read, my daughter will be able to use the instincts that she has developed in her illiterate years to help her better understand written recipes. What is also important to note about this scenario is that I did have a recipe and that I was essentially the one in charge. My culinary instincts are good. I have been baking and cooking since I was a child and it is very much a part of my life. We rarely buy cookies or cakes from the store because we make them from scratch. Yet, I am a working mother who does not spend her days in the kitchen. Thus, my instincts need prompting and guidance from written instructions. Significantly, the handwritten recipe I was using that day comes from the personal cookbook that has been evolving since I left home. In their recent works Eat My Words and Baking as Biography, Janet Theophano and Diane Tye analyse homemade, hand-crafted, and personal cookbooks to show that these texts are the means through which we can understand individuals at a given time and in a given place. Theophano, for example, analyses old cookbooks to understand the impact of social networking in identity making. By looking at the types of recipes and number of people who have written themselves into these women’s books, she shows that cookbook creation has always been a social activity that reveals personal and social identity. In a slightly different way, Tye uses her own mother’s recipes to better understand a person she can no longer talk to. Through recipes, she is able to recreate her deceased mother’s life and thus connect with her on a personal and emotional level. Although academics have traditionally ignored cookbooks as being mundane and unprofessional, the work of these recent critics illustrates the extent to which cookbooks provide an important way of understanding society and people’s places within it. While this essay cannot begin to analyse the large content of my cookbook, this one scenario echoes these recent scholarly claims that personal cookbooks are a significant addition to the academic world and must be read thoughtfully, as Heldke argues, for both the recipes’s theory and for the practical applications and stories embedded within them. In this particular example, Karena and I were making a chocolate a chip cake—a recipe that has been passed down from my Oma. It is a complicated recipe because it requires a weight scale rather than measuring cups and because instructions such as “add enough milk to make a soft dough” are far from precise. The recipe is not just a meaningless entry I found in a random book or on a random website but rather a multilayered narrative and an expression of my personal heritage. As Theophano and Tye have argued, recipes are a way to connect with family, friends, and specific groups of people either still living or long gone. Recipes are a way to create and relive memories. While I am lucky that my Oma is still very much alive, I imagine that I will someday use this recipe as a way to reconnect with her. When I serve this cake to my family members, we will surely be reminded of her. We will wonder where this recipe came from, how it is different from other chocolate chip cake recipes, and where she learned to make it. In fact, the recipe already varies considerably between homes. My Oma makes hers in a round pan, my mother in a loaf pan, and I in cupcake moulds. Each person has a different reason for her choice of presentation that is intrinsic to her reality and communicates a specific part of her identity. Thus by sharing this recipe with my daughter, I am not only ensuring that my memories are being passed on but I am also programming into her characteristics and values such as critical thinking, the worthiness of homemade food, and the importance of family time. Karena does not yet have her own cookbook but her preferences mean that some of the recipes in my collection are made more often than others. My cookbook continues to change and grow as I am currently prioritising foods I know my kids will eat. I am also shopping and surfing for children’s recipe books and websites in order to find kid-friendly meals we can make together. In her analysis of children and adolescent cookbooks published between the 1910s and 1950s, Sherrie Inness demonstrates that cookbooks have not only taught children how to cook, but also how to act. Through the titles and instructions (generally aimed at girls), the recipe choices (fluffy deserts for girls and meat dishes for boys), and the illustrations (of girls cooking and boys eating), these cookbooks have been a medium through which society has taught its youth about their future, gendered roles. Much research by critics such as Laura Shapiro, Sonia Cancian, and Inness, to name but a few, has documented this gendered division of labour in the home. However, the literature does not always reflect reality. As this next example demonstrates, men do cook and they also influence family cookbook creation. A while back, my husband spent quite a bit of time browsing through the World Wide Web to find a good recipe for a venison marinade. As an avid “barbecuer,” he has tried and tested a number of marinades and rubs over the years. Thus he knew what he was looking for in a good recipe. He found one, made it, and it was a hit! Just recently, he tried to find that recipe again. Rather than this being a simple process, after all he knew exactly which recipe he was looking for, it took quite a bit of searching before he found it. This time, he was sure to write it down to avoid having to repeat the frustrating experience. Ironically, when I went to put the written recipe into my personal cookbook, I found that he had, in fact, already copied it out. These two handwritten copies of the same recipe are but one place where my husband “speaks out” from, and claims a place within, what I had always considered “my” cookbook. His taste preferences and preferred cooking style is very different from my own—I would never have considered a venison marinade worth finding never mind copying out. By reading his and my recipes together, one can see an alternative to assumed gender roles in our kitchen. This cookbook proves a practice opposite from the conclusion that women cook to serve men which Inness and others have theorised from the cookbooks they have analysed and forces food and gender critics to reconsider stereotypical dichotomies. Another important example is a recipe that has not actually been written down and inserted into my cookbook but it is one my husband and I both take turns making. Years ago, we had found an excellent bacon-cheese dip online that we never managed to find again. Since then, we have been forced to adlib the recipe and it has, in my opinion, never been as good. Both these Internet-recipe examples illustrate the negative drawbacks to using the Internet to find, and store, recipes. Unfortunately, the Internet is not a book. It changes. Links are sometimes broken. Searches do not always yield the same results. Even with recipe-storing sites such as Allrecipes.com and Cooks.com, one must take the time to impute the information and there is no guarantee that the technology will work. While authors such as Anderson and Wagner bemoan that traditional cookbooks only give one version of most recipes, there are so many recipes online that it is sometimes overwhelming and difficult to make a choice. An amateur cook may find comfort in the illustrations and specific instruction, yet one still needs to either have an instinct for what makes a good recipe or needs to be willing to spend time trying them out. Of course the same can be said of regular cookbooks. Having printed texts in one’s home requires the patience to go through them and still requires a sense of suitability and manageability. In both cases, neither an abundance nor a lack of choice can guarantee results. It is true that both the Internet and printed cookbooks such as The Better Homes and Gardens provide numerous, step-by-step instructions and illustrations to help people learn to make food from scratch. Other encyclopedic volumes such as The Five Roses: A Guide to Good Cooking, like YouTube, videos break recipes down into simple steps and include visual tools to help a nervous cook. Yet there is a big difference between the theory and the practice. What in theory may appear simple still necessitates practice. A botched recipe can be the result of using different brands of ingredients, tools, or environmental conditions. Only practice can teach people how to make a recipe successfully. Furthermore, it is difficult to create an online cookbook that rivals the malleability of the personal cookbooks. It is true that recipe websites such as Cooks.com and Allrecipes.com do allow a person to store favourite recipes found on their websites. However, unless the submitter takes the time to personalise the content, recipes can lose their ties to their origins. Bookmaking sites such as Blurb.com are attractive options that do allow for personalisation. In her essay “Aunty Sylvie’s Sponge Foodmaking, Cookbooks and Nostalgia,” Sian Supski uses her aunt’s Blurb family cookbook to argue that the marvel of the Internet has ensured that important family food memories will be preserved; yet once printed, even these treasures risk becoming static documents. As Supski goes on to admit, she is a nervous cook and one can conclude that even this though this recipe collection is very special, it will never become personal because she will not add to it or modify the content. As the examples in Theophano's and Tye’s works demonstrate, the personal touches, the added comments, and the handwritten alterations on the actual recipes give people authority, autonomy, and independence. Hardcopies of recipes indicate through their tattered, dog-eared, and stained pages which recipes have been tried and have been considered to be worth keeping. While Internet sites frequently allow people to comment on recipes and so allow cooks to filter their options, commenting is not a requirement and the suggestions left by others do not necessarily reflect personal preferences. Although they do continue a social, recipe-networking trend that Theophano argues has always existed in relation to cookbook creation and personal foodways, once online, their anonymity and lack of personal connection strips them of their true potential. This is also true of printed cookbooks. Even those compiled by celebrity chefs such as Rachel Ray and Jamie Oliver cannot guarantee success as individuals still need to try them. These examples of recipe reading and recipe collecting advance Heldke’s argument that theory and practice blend in this activity. Recipes are not static. They change depending on who makes them, where they come from, and on the conditions under which they are executed. As critics, we need to recognise this blending of theory and practice and read recipe collections with this reality in mind. Conclusion Despite the growing number of blogs and recipe websites now available to the average cook, personal cookbooks are still a more useful and telling way to communicate information about ourselves and our foodways. As this reflection on actual experiences clearly demonstrates, personal cookbooks teach us about more than just food. They allow us to connect to the past in order to better understand who we are today in ways that the Internet and modern technology cannot. Just as cooking combines theory and practice, reading personal and family cookbooks allows critics to see how theories about foodmaking and gender play out in actual kitchens by actual people. The nuanced merging of voices within them illustrates that individuals alter over time as they come into contact with others. While printed cookbooks and online recipe sites do provide their own narrative possibilities, the stories that can be read in personal and family cookbooks prove that reading them is a thoughtful practice worthy of academic attention. References All Recipes.com Canada. 2013. 24 Apr. 2013. ‹http://allrecipes.com›. Anderson, L. V. “Cookbooks Are Headed for Extinction—and That’s OK.” Slate.com 18 Jun. 2012. 24 Apr. 2013 ‹http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2012/06/the_future_of_cookbooks_they_ll_go_extinct_and_that_s_ok_.html›. Blurb.ca. 2013. 27 May 2013. ‹http://blurb.ca›. Cancian, Sonia. "'Tutti a Tavola!' Feeding the Family in Two Generations of Italian Immigrant Households in Montreal." Edible Histories, Cultural Politics: Towards a Canadian Food History. Ed. Franca Iacovetta, Valerie J. Korinek, Marlene Epp. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2012. 209–21. Cooks.com Recipe Search. 2013. 24 Apr. 2013. ‹http://www.cooks.com›. Darling, Jennifer Dorland. Ed. The Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook. Des Moines: Meredith, 1996. Five Roses: A Guide to Good Cooking. North Vancouver: Whitecap, 2003. Floyd, Janet, and Laurel Forster. The Recipe Reader. Ed. Janet Floyd and Laurel Forster. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 2010. Heldke, Lisa."Foodmaking as a Thoughtful Practice." Cooking, Eating, Thinking: Transformative Philosophies of Food. Ed Deane W. Curtin and Lisa M. Heldke. Indiana UP, 1992. 203–29. ---. “Recipe for Theory Making.” Hypatia 3.2 (1988): 15–29. Inness, Sherrie. Dinner Roles: American Women and Culinary Culture. U of Iowa P, 2001. Leonardi, Susan. “Recipes for Reading: Pasta Salad, Lobster à la Riseholme, Key Lime Pie,” PMLA 104.3 (1989): 340–47. Marquis, Marie. "The Cookbooks Quebecers Prefer: More Than Just Recipes." What's to Eat? Entrées in Canadian Food History. Ed. Nathalie Cooke. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s UP, 2009. 213–27. Shapiro, Laura. Something from the Oven: Reinventing Dinner in 1950s America. New York: Viking, 2004. Theophano, Janet. Eat My Words: Reading Women's Lives through the Cookbooks They Wrote. Palgrave MacMillan: New York, 2002. Tye, Diane. Baking As Biography. Canada: McGill-Queen UP, 2010. Wagner, Vivian. “Cookbooks of the Future: Bye, Bye, Index Cards.” E-Commerce Times. Ecommercetimes.com. 20 Nov. 2011. 16 April 2013. ‹http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/73842.html›.

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Holloway, Donell, Lelia Green, and Robyn Quin. "What p*rn?" M/C Journal 7, no.4 (October1, 2004). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2381.

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The negative implications of children’s use of the Internet, particularly their loss of innocence through access to p*rnography, is a topic frequently addressed in public discussions and debate. These debates often take on a technologically determinist point of view and assume that technology directly influences children, usually in a harmful fashion. But what is really happening in the Australian family home? Are parents fearful of these risks, and if so what are they doing about it? A recent exploration of the everyday Internet lives of Australian families indicates that families manage these perceived risks in a variety of ways and are not overly troubled about this issue. Findings from the research project indicate that Australian parents are more concerned about some children’s excessive use of the Internet than about p*rnography. They construct the Internet as interfering with time available to carry out homework, chores, getting adequate sleep or participating in outdoor (fresh air) activities. This disparity, between public discourse regarding the protection of children in the online environment and the actual significance of this issue in the everyday lives of Australian families, reflects the domestic dynamics within the “moral economy of the household” (Silverstone et al. 15) whereby family relationships and household practices inform the manner in which technology is consumed within any given household. The research project described here (Family Internet: Theorising Domestic Internet Consumption, Production and Use Within Australian Families) is funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant and investigates Internet use within Australian homes with specific reference to families with school-aged children. It explores how individual family members make sense of their family’s engagement with the Internet and investigates ways in which the Internet is integrated within Australian family life. Public Debates The relationship between children and technology is often addressed in public debates regarding children’s health, safety, social and educational development. Within these debates technology is usually held responsible for a variety of harmful consequences to children. These technological ‘effects’ range from the decline of children’s social relationships (with both peers and family); through sedentary lifestyles which impinge on fitness levels and the weight (body mass index) of children; to the corruption of children (and their loss of innocence) through access to unsuitable materials. These unsuitable texts include “soft and hardcore p*rn, Neo Nazi groups, paedophiles, racial and ethnic hatred” (Valentine et al. 157). Other digital technologies, such as computer and video games, are sometimes seen as exacerbating these problems and raise the spectre of the ‘Nintendo kid’, friendless and withdrawn (Marshall 73), lacking in social skills and unable to relate to others except through multi-player games – although this caricature appears far removed from children’s normal experience of computer gaming (Aisbett: Durkin and Aisbett). Such debates about the negative implications of the Internet and video games run simultaneously alongside government, educational and commercial promotion of these technologies, and the positioning of digital skills and connectivity as the key to children’s future education and employment. In this pro-technology discourse the family: …is being constructed as an entry point for the development of new computer-related literacies and social practices in young people … what is discursively produced within the global cultural economy as digital fun and games for young people, is simultaneously constructed as serious business for parents (Nixon 23). Thus, two conflicting discourses about children’s Internet use exist simultaneously whereby children are considered both “technically competent and at risk from their technical skills” (Valentine et al. 157). This anxiety is further exacerbated by the fear that parents are losing control of their children’s Internet activities because their own (the parents’) technical competencies are being surpassed by their children. Such fear may well be based on misleading information, particularly in the Australian context. The Australian Broadcasting Authority’s 2001 Internet@ home report “challenges the popular belief that parents lag behind their children in their interest and proficiency with online technology. Most often the household Internet ‘expert’ is an adult” (Aisbett 4). Nonetheless, this public anxiety is underscored by a concern that parents may not be sufficiently Internet-savvy to prevent their children’s access to p*rnography and other undesirable Internet content. This leads to the fundamental anxiety that parents’ natural power base will be diminished (Valentine et al. 157). In the case of children’s access to Internet p*rn it may well be that: although parents still occupy the role of initiated with regard to sexuality, if they are uninitiated technologically then they lose the power base from which to set the markers for progressive socialisation (Evans and Butkus 68). These popular fears do not take into consideration the context of Internet use in the real world—of children’s and parents’ actual experiences with and uses of the Internet. Parents have developed a variety of ways to manage these perceived risks in the home and are not usually overly concerned about their children’s exposure to unsuitable or inappropriate content on the Internet. Families’ everyday experiences of Internet consumption The home Internet is one site where most parents exercise some degree of care and control of their children, supervising both the quantity and quality of their children’s Internet experiences. When supervising their children’s access to particular Internet sites, parents in this study use a variety of strategies and approaches. These approaches range from a child-empowering ‘autonomous’ approach (which recognises children’s autonomy and competencies) to more authoritarian approaches (with the use of more direct supervision in order to restrict and protect children). At the same time children may use the Internet to affirm their autonomy or independence from their parents, as parents in this study affirm: He used to let me see the [onscreen] conversations but he won’t let me see them now. But that’s fine. If I come up and talk to him, he clicks the button and takes the screen off. (Kathy, pseudonyms used for interviewee contributions) Parents who tend to favour a child-empowering approach recognise their children’s autonomy, while at the same time having relatively high expectations of their children’s psychosocial competence and ability to handle a variety of media texts in a relatively sophisticated manner. When asked about her son’s access to adult Internet content, single mum Lisa indicated that Henry (17) had openly accessed Internet p*rnography a few years earlier. She expected (and allowed for) some exploration by her son. At the same time, she was not overly concerned that these materials would corrupt or harm him as she expected these explorations to be a transitory phase in his life: It doesn’t bother me at all. If he wants to do that then he can do it because he’ll get sick of it and I think initially it was ‘let’s see what we can do’. I remember once, he called me in and says ‘Mum, come and look at her boobs’ and I looked at it and I said ‘it’s disgusting’ or something and walked away and he laughed his head off. But I’ve never come in [lately] and found him looking at that stuff … It’s just not something that I’m … really worried about. It’s up to him (Lisa). As with this exchange, families often use media texts as tools in the socialisation of children. The provision of shared topics of conversation allows for discussions between generations: Such materials serve an agenda-setting role … [playing] an important role in providing a socioemotional context for the household within which learning takes place. Technoculture is consequently a critical tool for socialisation … ICTs also construct a framework on/with which to differentiate one member from another, to differentiate between generations, and to differentiate ways in which power and control can be asserted (Green 58). In this case, Lisa’s comment to her teenage son (‘it’s disgusting’) and her actions (in walking away) doubtlessly provided Henry with a social cue, an alternative attitude to his choice of online content. Further, in initiating this exchange with his mother, Henry is likely to have been making a statement about his own autonomy and transition into (heterosexual) manhood. In his interview, Henry openly acknowledged his earlier exploration of adult p*rn sites but (as his mother anticipated) he seems to have moved on from this particular phase. When asked whether he visited adult sites on the Internet Henry responded in his own succinct manner: Henry: Like p*rn and stuff? Not really. I probably did when I was a bit younger but it’s not really very exciting. Interviewer: That was when you first got it [the Internet] or when? Henry: Yeah, [two to three years earlier] all your friends come around and you check out the sites. It’s nothing exciting anymore. Sexual experiences and knowledge are an important currency within teenage boy culture (Holland et al. 1998) and like other teenage boys, Henry and his friends are likely to have used this technology in order to “negotiate their masculinity within the heterosexual economy of [their] peer group social relations”(Valentine et al. 160). In this case, it seemed to be a transitory stage within Henry’s peer (or community of interest) group and became less important as the teenagers grew into maturity. Many children and young people are also exploring the social world of Internet chat, with the potential risk of unwanted (and unsafe) face-to-face contact. Leonie, mother of teenage girls, explained her daughters’ ability to negotiate these potentially unsafe contacts: I suppose you just get a bit concerned about the chat lines and who they’re talking to sometimes but really they usually tell me … [to 17-year old daughter in the room] Like on the chat lines you, when, had that idiot … that one that was going to come over here. Just some idiots on there. A lot of the kids are teenagers. I know Shani’s [14] gotten on there a few times on the chat line and there’s been obviously someone asking them lewd questions and she’s usually blocked them and cut them off …(Leonie). Daughter Shani also discusses her experiences with unsafe (unwanted) Internet contact: “They go on about stuff that you don’t really want to talk about and it’s just ‘No, I don’t think so’” (Shani, 14). Shani went on to explain that she now prefers to use instant messaging with known (offline) friends—a preference now taken up by many teenagers (Holloway and Green: Livingstone and Bober). Electronic media play an important role in children’s transition to adulthood. The ubiquitousness of the World Wide Web, however, makes restriction and protection of children increasingly difficult to realise (Buckingham 84-5). Instead, many parents in this study are placing more importance on openness, consultation and discussion with their children about the media texts they encounter, rather than imposing restriction and regulation which these parents believe may well be “counter-productive” (Nightingale et al. 19). Of greater disquiet to many parents in this study than their children’s access to unsuitable online content is concern about their children’s possible excessive use of the Internet. Parents were typically more concerned about the amount of time some of their children were spending chatting to friends and playing online games. One mother explains: They [my daughters] started to use MSN whilst they were doing school work and obviously kids are able to listen to music, watch television, do a project. They can multi-task without all the confusion that I [would have] but we actually now, they’re not able to do MSN during the school week at all … so we now said to them, “if you want to ring somebody, give them a call, that’s fine, we don’t mind, but during the week no MSN” … we’ve actually restricted them (Stephanie). Parental concern about children’s excessive use of the Internet was most marked for parents of teenage children: adolescence being a time when “rules about media consumption can be an early site of resistance for young adults keen to take more power for themselves and their own lives” (Green 30). Father of two, Xavier, expressed his concern about (what he perceived as) his teenage son’s excessive use of the Internet: Well I think there’s far too much time … Gavin’ll spend a whole day on it. I try to get him to come to the footy on Sunday. No. He’s available for friends [for online gaming and chat on the Internet]. He’ll spend all day on the computer (Xavier). Son Gavin (16), in a separate interview, anticipated that this criticism had been made and felt compelled to counter it: Well he [dad] makes comments like saying I’m not fit enough ‘cause I spent too much time on the computer but I play soccer a lot. Like, I do sport perhaps everyday at school … I mean, I think, such a piece of crap (Gavin). Thus, the incorporation of the Internet into the domestic sphere often sees previously established boundaries (who uses what, when, where and for how long) redefined, challenged, resisted and defended by various family members. In this way the Internet (and other new media) helps shape (and is shaped by) the temporal and spatial boundaries within the home. Conclusion While all parents in the Family Internet study construct the Internet as a site which requires some level of care and control over their children’s online use, they use a variety of approaches when carrying out this supervisory role. Some parents tend to allow for children’s free exploration of the Internet and are relatively confident that their children are able to negotiate adult texts such as p*rnography in a comparatively sophisticated manner. Other parents, those inclined to protect their children from the dangers of adult content and unsafe Internet contact, choose to monitor and restrict their children’s access to the Internet to varying degrees. More consistent is parental concern about excessive use of the Internet, and the assumption that this displaces constructive use of children’s time. Public anxieties about children’s use of the Internet make assumptions about children’s media practices. Children (and their families) are often assumed to be less able to differentiate between suitable and unsuitable Internet texts and to deal with these potential dangers in a sensible manner. These fears presuppose a variety of negative impacts on children’s and young peoples’ lives which may have little to do with daily reality. Our exploration of families’ everyday experiences of Internet consumption highlights the disparity between public anxieties about Internet use and the importance of these anxieties in the everyday lives of families. The major concern of families – ill-disciplined and excessive Internet use – barely registers on the same scale as the public moral panic over children’s possible access to online p*rnography. These findings say less about the Internet as a locale in cyberspace than they do about the domestic dynamics of the household, parenting styles, relationships between parent(s) and children, and the sociocultural context of family life. References Aisbett, Kate. The Internet at Home: A Report on Internet Use in the Home. Sydney: Australian Broadcasting Authority, 2001. Buckingham, David. After the Death of Childhood: Growing up in the Age of Electronic Media. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2000. Durkin, Kevin and Kate Aisbett. Computer Games and Australians Today. Sydney: Office of Film and Literature Classification, 1999. Evans, Mark and Clarice Butkus. “Regulating the Emergent: Cyberp*rn and the Traditional Media.” Media International Australia 85 (1997): 62-9. Green, Lelia. Technoculture: >From Alphabet to Cybersex. Crows Nest Australia: Allen and Unwin, 2002. Holland, Janet and Caroline Ramazanoglu, Sue Sharpe and Rachel Thomson. The Male in the Head: Young People, Heterosexuality and Power. London: Tufnell Press, 1998. Holloway, Donell and Lelia Green. “Home Is Where You Hang Your @: Australian Women on the Net.” Communications Research Forum. Canberra: Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, 2003. Livingstone, Sonia and Magdalena Bober. UK Children Go Online: Listening to Young People’s Experiences. London: London School of Economics and Political Science, 2003. Marshall, P. David. “Technophobia: Video Games, Computer Hacks and Cybernetics.” Media International Australia 85 (1997): 70-8. Nightingale, Virginia, Dianne Dickenson and Catherine Griff. “Harm: Children’s Views About Media Harm and Program Classification.” Forum. Sydney, Australia, 2000. Nixon, Helen. “Fun and Games Are Serious Business.” Digital Diversions: Youth Culture in the Age of Multi-Media. Ed. J Sefton-Green. London: UCL Press, 1998. Silverstone, Roger, Eric Hirsch and David Morley. “Information and Communication and the Moral Economy of the Household.” Consuming Technologies: Media and Information in Domestic Spaces. Eds. Roger Silverstone and Eric Hirsch. London: Routledge, 1992. 17-31. Valentine, Gill, Sarah Holloway and Nick Bingham. “Transforming Cyberspace: Children’s Interventions in the New Public Sphere.” Children’s Geographies: Playing, Living, Learning. Eds. Sarah L. Holloway and Gill Valentine. London: Routledge, 2000. 156 – 93. MLA Style Holloway, Donell, Lelia Green & Robyn Quin. "What p*rn?: Children and the Family Internet." M/C Journal 7.4 (2004). 10 October 2004 <http://www.media-culture.org.au/0410/02_children.php>. APA Style Holloway, D., Green, L. & Quin, R. (2004 Oct 11). What p*rn?: Children and the Family Internet, M/C Journal, 7(4). Retrieved Oct 10 2004 from <http://www.media-culture.org.au/0410/02_children.php>

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Varney, Wendy. "Homeward Bound or Housebound?" M/C Journal 10, no.4 (August1, 2007). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2701.

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Abstract:

If thinking about home necessitates thinking about “place, space, scale, identity and power,” as Alison Blunt and Robyn Dowling (2) suggest, then thinking about home themes in popular music makes no less a conceptual demand. Song lyrics and titles most often invoke dominant readings such as intimacy, privacy, nurture, refuge, connectedness and shared belonging, all issues found within Blunt and Dowling’s analysis. The spatial imaginary to which these authors refer takes vivid shape through repertoires of songs dealing with houses and other specific sites, vast and distant homelands, communities or, less tangibly, geographical or cultural settings where particular relationships can be found, supporting Blunt and Dowling’s major claim that home is complex, multi-scalar and multi-layered. Shelley Mallett’s claim that the term home “functions as a repository for complex, inter-related and at times contradictory socio-cultural ideas about people’s relationships with one another…and with places, spaces and things” (84) is borne out heavily by popular music where, for almost every sentiment that the term home evokes, it seems an opposite sentiment is evoked elsewhere: familiarity versus alienation, acceptance versus rejection, love versus loneliness. Making use of conceptual groundwork by Blunt and Dowling and by Mallett and others, the following discussion canvasses a range of meanings that home has had for a variety of songwriters, singers and audiences over the years. Intended as merely partial and exploratory rather than exhaustive, it provides some insights into contrasts, ironies and relationships between home and gender, diaspora and loss. While it cannot cover all the themes, it gives prominence to the major recurring themes and a variety of important contexts that give rise to these home themes. Most prominent among those songs dealing with home has been a nostalgia and yearning, while issues of how women may have viewed the home within which they have often been restricted to a narrowly defined private sphere are almost entirely absent. This serves as a reminder that, while some themes can be conducive to the medium of popular music, others may be significantly less so. Songs may speak directly of experience but not necessarily of all experiences and certainly not of all experiences equally. B. Lee Cooper claims “most popular culture ventures rely upon formula-oriented settings and phrasings to attract interest, to spur mental or emotional involvement” (93). Notions of home have generally proved both formulaic and emotionally-charged. Commonly understood patterns of meaning and other hegemonic references generally operate more successfully than alternative reference points. Those notions with the strongest cultural currency can be conveyed succinctly and denote widely agreed upon meanings. Lyrics can seldom afford to be deeply analytical but generally must be concise and immediately evocative. Despite that, this discussion will point to diverse meanings carried by songs about home. Blunt and Dowling point out that “a house is not necessarily nor automatically a home” (3). The differences are strongly apparent in music, with only a few songs relating to houses compared with homes. When Malvina Reynolds wrote in 1962 of “little boxes, on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky-tacky,” she was certainly referring to houses, not homes, thus making it easier to bypass the relationships which might have vested the inhabitants with more warmth and individuality than their houses, in this song about conformity and hom*ogeneity. The more complex though elusive concept of home, however, is more likely to feature in love songs and to emanate from diasporal songs. Certainly these two genres are not mutually exclusive. Irish songs are particularly noteworthy for adding to the array of music written by, or representational of, those who have been forced away from home by war, poverty, strife or other circ*mstances. They manifest identities of displacement rather than of placement, as studied by Bronwen Walter, looking back at rather than from within their spatial imaginary. Phil Eva claims that during the 19th Century Irish émigrés sang songs of exile in Manchester’s streets. Since many in England’s industrial towns had been uprooted from their homes, the songs found rapport with street audiences and entered popular culture. For example, the song Killarney, of hazy origins but thought to date back to as early as 1850, tells of Killarney’s lakes and fells, Emerald isles and winding bays; Mountain paths and woodland dells… ...her [nature’s] home is surely there. As well as anthropomorphising nature and giving it a home, the song suggests a specifically geographic sense of home. Galway Bay, written by A. Fahy, does likewise, as do many other Irish songs of exile which link geography with family, kin and sometimes culture to evoke a sense of home. The final verse of Cliffs of Doneen gives a sense of both people and place making up home: Fare thee well to Doneen, fare thee well for a while And to all the kind people I’m leaving behind To the streams and the meadows where late I have been And the high rocky slopes round the cliffs of Doneen. Earlier Irish songs intertwine home with political issues. For example, Tho’ the Last Glimpse of Erin vows to Erin that “In exile thy bosum shall still be my home.” Such exile resulted from a preference of fleeing Ireland rather than bowing to English oppression, which then included a prohibition on Irish having moustaches or certain hairstyles. Thomas Moore is said to have set the words of the song to the air Coulin which itself referred to an Irish woman’s preference for her “Coulin” (a long-haired Irish youth) to the English (Nelson-Burns). Diasporal songs have continued, as has their political edge, as evidenced by global recognition of songs such as Bayan Ko (My Country), written by José Corazon de Jesus in 1929, out of love and concern for the Philippines and sung among Filipinos worldwide. Robin Cohen outlines a set of criteria for diaspora that includes a shared belief in the possibility of return to home, evident in songs such as the 1943 Welsh song A Welcome in the Hillside, in which a Welsh word translating roughly as a yearning to return home, hiraeth, is used: We’ll kiss away each hour of hiraeth When you come home again to Wales. However, the immensely popular I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen, not of Irish origin but written by Thomas Westendorf of Illinois in 1875, suggests that such emotions can have a resonance beyond the diaspora. Anti-colonial sentiments about home can also be expressed by long-time inhabitants, as Harry Belafonte demonstrated in Island in the Sun: This is my island in the sun Where my people have toiled since time begun. Though I may sail on many a sea, Her shores will always be home to me. War brought a deluge of sentimental songs lamenting separation from home and loved ones, just as likely to be parents and siblings as sweethearts. Radios allowed wider audiences and greater popularity for these songs. If separation had brought a longing previously, the added horrors of war presented a stronger contrast between that which the young soldiers were missing and that which they were experiencing. Both the First and Second World Wars gave rise to songs long since sung which originated in such separations, but these also had a strong sense of home as defined by the nationalism that has for over a century given the contours of expectations of soldiers. Focusing on home, these songs seldom speak of the details of war. Rather they are specific about what the singers have left behind and what they hope to return to. Songs of home did not have to be written specifically for the war effort nor for overseas troops. Irving Berlin’s 1942 White Christmas, written for a film, became extremely popular with US troops during WWII, instilling a sense of home that related to familiarities and festivities. Expressing a sense of home could be specific and relate to regions or towns, as did I’m Goin’ Back Again to Yarrawonga, or it could refer to any home, anywhere where there were sons away fighting. Indeed the American Civil War song When Johnny Comes Marching Home, written by Patrick Sarsfield Gilmour, was sung by both Northerners and Southerners, so adaptable was it, with home remarkably unspecified and undescribed. The 1914 British song Keep the Home Fires Burning by Ivor Novello and Lena Ford was among those that evoked a connection between home and the military effort and helped establish a responsibility on those at home to remain optimistic: Keep the Homes fires burning While your hearts are yearning, Though your lads are far away They dream of home, There’s a silver lining Through the dark clouds shining, Turn the dark clouds inside out, Till the boys come Home. No space exists in this song for critique of the reasons for war, nor of a role for women other than that of homemaker and moral guardian. It was women’s duty to ensure men enlisted and home was rendered a private site for emotional enlistment for a presumed public good, though ironically also a point of personal hope where the light of love burned for the enlistees’ safe return. Later songs about home and war challenged these traditional notions. Two serve as examples. One is Pink Floyd’s brief musical piece of the 1970s, Bring the Boys Back Home, whose words of protest against the American war on Viet Nam present home, again, as a site of safety but within a less conservative context. Home becomes implicated in a challenge to the prevailing foreign policy and the interests that influence it, undermining the normal public sphere/private sphere distinction. The other more complex song is Judy Small’s Mothers, Daughters, Wives, from 1982, set against a backdrop of home. Small eloquently describes the dynamics of the domestic space and how women understood their roles in relation to the First and Second World Wars and the Viet Nam War. Reinforcing that “The materialities and imaginaries of home are closely connected” (Blunt and Dowling 188), Small sings of how the gold frames held the photographs that mothers kissed each night And the doorframe held the shocked and silent strangers from the fight. Small provides a rare musical insight into the disjuncture between the men who left the domestic space and those who return to it, and we sense that women may have borne much of the brunt of those awful changes. The idea of domestic bliss is also challenged, though from the returned soldier’s point of view, in Redgum’s 1983 song I Was Only Nineteen, written by group member John Schuman. It touches on the tragedy of young men thrust into war situations and the horrific after-affects for them, which cannot be shrugged off on return to home. The nurturing of home has limits but the privacy associated with the domestic sphere has often concealed the violence and mental anguish that happens away from public view. But by this time most of the songs referring to home were dominated once more by sentimental love, often borne of travel as mobility rose. Journeys help “establish the thresholds and boundaries of home” and can give rise to “an idealized, ideological and ethnocentric view of home” (Mallett 78). Where previously songsters had sung of leaving home in exile or for escape from poverty, lyrics from the 1960s onwards often suggested that work had removed people from loved ones. It could be work on a day-by-day basis, as in A Hard Day’s Night from the 1964 film of the same name, where the Beatles illuminate differences between the public sphere of work and the private sphere to which they return: When I’m home, everything seems to be alright, When I’m home feeling you holding me tight, tight, yeah and reiterated by Paul McCartney in Every Night: And every night that day is through But tonight I just want to stay in And be with you. Lyrics such as these and McCartney’s call to be taken “...home to the Mull of Kintyre,” singled him out for his home-and-hearth messages (Dempsey). But work might involve longer absences and thus more deepfelt loneliness. Simon and Garfunkel’s exemplary Homeward Bound starkly portrays a site of “away-ness”: I’m sittin’ in the railway station, got a ticket for my destination… Mundaneness, monotony and predictability contrast with the home to which the singer’s thoughts are constantly escaping. The routine is familiar but the faces are those of strangers. Home here is, again, not simply a domicile but the warmth of those we know and love. Written at a railway station, Homeward Bound echoes sentiments almost identical to those of (Leaving on a) Jet Plane, written by John Denver at an airport in 1967. Denver also co-wrote (Take Me Home) Country Roads, where, in another example of anthropomorphism as a tool of establishing a strong link, he asks to be taken home to the place I belong West Virginia, mountain momma, Take me home, Country Roads. The theme has recurred in numerous songs since, spawning examples such as Darin and Alquist’s When I Get Home, Chris Daughtry’s Home, Michael Bublé’s Home and Will Smith’s Ain’t No Place Like Home, where, in an opening reminiscent of Homeward Bound, the singer is Sitting in a hotel room A thousand miles away from nowhere Sloped over a chair as I stare… Furniture from home, on the other hand, can be used to evoke contentment and bliss, as demonstrated by George Weiss and Bob Thiele’s song The Home Fire, in which both kin and the objects of home become charged with meaning: All of the folks that I love are there I got a date with my favourite chair Of course, in regard to earlier songs especially, while the traveller associates home with love, security and tenderness, back at home the waiting one may have had feelings more of frustration and oppression. One is desperate to get back home, but for all we know the other may be desperate to get out of home or to develop a life more meaningful than that which was then offered to women. If the lot of homemakers was invisible to national economies (Waring), it seemed equally invisible to mainstream songwriters. This reflects the tradition that “Despite home being generally considered a feminine, nurturing space created by women themselves, they often lack both authority and a space of their own within this realm” (Mallett 75). Few songs have offered the perspective of the one at home awaiting the return of the traveller. One exception is the Seekers’ 1965 A World of Our Own but, written by Tom Springfield, the words trilled by Judith Durham may have been more of a projection of the traveller’s hopes and expectations than a true reflection of the full experiences of housebound women of the day. Certainly, the song reinforces connections between home and intimacy and privacy: Close the door, light the lights. We’re stayin’ home tonight, Far away from the bustle and the bright city lights. Let them all fade away, just leave us alone And we’ll live in a world of our own. This also strongly supports Gaston Bachelard’s claim that one’s house in the sense of a home is one’s “first universe, a real cosmos” (qtd. in Blunt and Dowling 12). But privacy can also be a loneliness when home is not inhabited by loved ones, as in the lyrics of Don Gibson’s 1958 Oh, Lonesome Me, where Everybody’s going out and having fun I’m a fool for staying home and having none. Similar sentiments emerge in Debbie Boone’s You Light up My Life: So many nights I’d sit by my window Waiting for someone to sing me his song. Home in these situations can be just as alienating as the “away” depicted as so unfriendly by Homeward Bound’s strangers’ faces and the “million people” who still leave Michael Bublé feeling alone. Yet there are other songs that depict “away” as a prison made of freedom, insinuating that the lack of a home and consequently of the stable love and commitment presumably found there is a sad situation indeed. This is suggested by the lilting tune, if not by the lyrics themselves, in songs such as Wandrin’ Star from the musical Paint Your Wagon and Ron Miller’s I’ve Never Been to Me, which has both a male and female version with different words, reinforcing gendered experiences. The somewhat conservative lyrics in the female version made it a perfect send-up song in the 1994 film Priscilla: Queen of the Desert. In some songs the absentee is not a traveller but has been in jail. In Tie a Yellow Ribbon round the Ole Oak Tree, an ex-inmate states “I’m comin’ home. I’ve done my time.” Home here is contingent upon the availability and forgivingness of his old girl friend. Another song juxtaposing home with prison is Tom Jones’ The Green, Green Grass of Home in which the singer dreams he is returning to his home, to his parents, girlfriend and, once again, an old oak tree. However, he awakes to find he was dreaming and is about to be executed. His body will be taken home and placed under the oak tree, suggesting some resigned sense of satisfaction that he will, after all, be going home, albeit in different circ*mstances. Death and home are thus sometimes linked, with home a euphemism for the former, as suggested in many spirituals, with heaven or an afterlife being considered “going home”. The reverse is the case in the haunting Bring Him Home of the musical Les Misérables. With Marius going off to the barricades and the danger involved, Jean Valjean prays for the young man’s safe return and that he might live. Home is connected here with life, safety and ongoing love. In a number of songs about home and absence there is a sense of home being a place where morality is gently enforced, presumably by women who keep men on the straight and narrow, in line with one of the women’s roles of colonial Australia, researched by Anne Summers. These songs imply that when men wander from home, their morals also go astray. Wild Rover bemoans Oh, I’ve been a wild rover for many a year, and I’ve spent all my money on whiskey and beer… There is the resolve in the chorus, however, that home will have a reforming influence. Gene Pitney’s Twenty-Four Hours from Tulsa poses the dangers of distance from a wife’s influence, while displaying opposition to the sentimental yearning of so many other songs: Dearest darlin’, I have to write to say that I won’t be home anymore ‘cause something happened to me while I was drivin’ home And I’m not the same anymore Class as well as gender can be a debated issue in meanings attached to home, as evident in several songs that take a more jaundiced view of home, seeing it as a place from which to escape. The Animals’ powerful We Gotta Get Outta This Place clearly suggests a life of drudgery in a home town or region. Protectively, the lyrics insist “Girl, there’s a better life for me and you” but it has to be elsewhere. This runs against the grain of other British songs addressing poverty or a working class existence as something that comes with its own blessings, all to do with an area identified as home. These traits may be loyalty, familiarity or a refusal to judge and involve identities of placement rather than of displacement in, for instance, Gerry and the Pacemakers’ Ferry Cross the Mersey: People around every corner, they seem to smile and say “We don’t care what your name is, boy. We’ll never send you away.” This bears out Blunt and Dowling’s claim that “people’s senses of themselves are related to and produced through lived and metaphorical experiences of home” (252). It also resonates with some of the region-based identity and solidarity issues explored a short time later by Paul Willis in his study of working class youth in Britain, which help to inform how a sense of home can operate to constrict consciousness, ideas and aspirations. Identity features strongly in other songs about home. Several years after Neil Young recorded his 1970 song Southern Man about racism in the south of the USA, the group Lynyrd Skynyrd, responded with Sweet Home Alabama. While the meaning of its lyrics are still debated, there is no debate about the way in which the song has been embraced, as I recently discovered first-hand in Tennessee. A banjo-and-fiddle band performing the song during a gig virtually brought down the house as the predominantly southern audience clapped, whopped and stamped its feet. The real meanings of home were found not in the lyrics but in the audience’s response. Wally Johnson and Bob Brown’s 1975 Home Among the Gum Trees is a more straightforward ode to home, with lyrics that prescribe a set of non-commodified values. It is about simplicity and the right to embrace a lifestyle that includes companionship, leisure and an enjoyment of and appreciation of nature, all threatened seriously in the three decades since the song’s writing. The second verse in which large shopping complexes – and implicitly the consumerism they encourage – are eschewed (“I’d trade it all tomorrow for a little bush retreat where the kookaburras call”), is a challenge to notions of progress and reflects social movements of the day, The Green Bans Movement, for instance, took a broader and more socially conscientious attitude towards home and community, putting forward alternative sets of values and insisting people should have a say in the social and aesthetic construction of their neighbourhoods as well as the impacts of their labour (Mundey). Ironically, the song has gone on to become the theme song for a TV show about home gardens. With a strong yet more vague notion of home, Peter Allen’s I Still Call Australia Home, was more prone to commodification and has been adopted as a promotional song for Qantas. Nominating only the desire to travel and the love of freedom as Australian values, both politically and socially innocuous within the song’s context, this catchy and uplifting song, when not being used as an advertisem*nt, paradoxically works for a “diaspora” of Australians who are not in exile but have mostly travelled for reasons of pleasure or professional or financial gain. Another paradox arises from the song Home on the Range, dating back to the 19th century at a time when the frontier was still a strong concept in the USA and people were simultaneously leaving homes and reminiscing about home (Mechem). Although it was written in Kansas, the lyrics – again vague and adaptable – were changed by other travellers so that versions such as Colorado Home and My Arizona Home soon abounded. In 1947 Kansas made Home on the Range its state song, despite there being very few buffalo left there, thus highlighting a disjuncture between the modern Kansas and “a home where the buffalo roam” as described in the song. These themes, paradoxes and oppositional understandings of home only scratch the surface of the wide range of claims that are made on home throughout popular music. It has been shown that home is a flexible concept, referring to homelands, regions, communities and private houses. While predominantly used to evoke positive feelings, mostly with traditional views of the relationships that lie within homes, songs also raise challenges to notions of domesticity, the rights of those inhabiting the private sphere and the demarcation between the private and public spheres. Songs about home reflect contexts and challenges of their respective eras and remind us that vigorous discussion takes place about and within homes. The challenges are changing. Where many women once felt restrictively tied to the home – and no doubt many continue to do so – many women and men are now struggling to rediscover spatial boundaries, with production and consumption increasingly impinging upon relationships that have so frequently given the term home its meaning. With evidence that we are working longer hours and that home life, in whatever form, is frequently suffering (Beder, Hochschild), the discussion should continue. In the words of Sam Cooke, Bring it on home to me! References Bacheland, Gaston. The Poetics of Space. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1994. Beder, Sharon. Selling the Work Ethic: From Puritan Pulpit to Corporate PR. London: Zed Books, 2000. Blunt, Alison, and Robyn Dowling. Home. London: Routledge, 2006. Cohen, Robin. Global Diasporas: An Introduction. London: UCL Press, 1997. Cooper, B. Lee. “Good Timin’: Searching for Meaning in Clock Songs.” Popular Music and Society 30.1 (Feb. 2007): 93-106. Dempsey, J.M. “McCartney at 60: A Body of Work Celebrating Home and Hearth.” Popular Music and Society 27.1 (Feb. 2004): 27-40. Eva, Phil. “Home Sweet Home? The Culture of ‘Exile’ in Mid-Victorian Popular Song.” Popular Music 16.2 (May 1997): 131-150. Hochschild, Arlie. The Time Bind: When Work Becomes Home and Home Becomes Work. New York: Metropolitan/Holt, 1997. Mallett, Sonia. “Understanding Home: A Critical Review of the Literature.” The Sociological Review 52.1 (2004): 62-89. Mechem, Kirke, “The Story of ‘Home on the Range’.” Reprint from the Kansas Historical Quarterly (Nov. 1949). Topeka, Kansas: Kansas State Historical Society. 28 May 2007 http://www.emporia.edu/cgps/tales/nov2003.html>. Mundey, Jack. Green Bans and Beyond. Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1981. Nelson-Burns, Lesley. Folk Music of England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and America. 29 May 2007 http://www.contemplator.com/ireland/tho*rin.html>. Summers, Anne. Damned whor*s and God’s Police: The Colonization of Women in Australia. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1975. Walter, Bronwen. Outsiders Inside: Whiteness, Place and Irish Women. London: Routledge, 2001. Waring, Marilyn. Counting for Nothing: What Men Value and What Women Are Worth. Wellington, NZ: Allen & Unwin, 1988. Willis, Paul. Learning to Labor: How Working Class Kids Get Working Class Jobs. New York: Columbia UP, 1977. Citation reference for this article MLA Style Varney, Wendy. "Homeward Bound or Housebound?: Themes of Home in Popular Music." M/C Journal 10.4 (2007). echo date('d M. Y'); ?> <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0708/16-varney.php>. APA Style Varney, W. (Aug. 2007) "Homeward Bound or Housebound?: Themes of Home in Popular Music," M/C Journal, 10(4). Retrieved echo date('d M. Y'); ?> from <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0708/16-varney.php>.

38

Brien, Donna Lee. "The Real Filth in American Psycho." M/C Journal 9, no.5 (November1, 2006). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2657.

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1991 An afternoon in late 1991 found me on a Sydney bus reading Brett Easton Ellis’ American Psycho (1991). A disembarking passenger paused at my side and, as I glanced up, hissed, ‘I don’t know how you can read that filth’. As she continued to make her way to the front of the vehicle, I was as stunned as if she had struck me physically. There was real vehemence in both her words and how they were delivered, and I can still see her eyes squeezing into slits as she hesitated while curling her mouth around that final angry word: ‘filth’. Now, almost fifteen years later, the memory is remarkably vivid. As the event is also still remarkable; this comment remaining the only remark ever made to me by a stranger about anything I have been reading during three decades of travelling on public transport. That inflamed commuter summed up much of the furore that greeted the publication of American Psycho. More than this, and unusually, condemnation of the work both actually preceded, and affected, its publication. Although Ellis had been paid a substantial U.S. $300,000 advance by Simon & Schuster, pre-publication stories based on circulating galley proofs were so negative—offering assessments of the book as: ‘moronic … pointless … themeless … worthless (Rosenblatt 3), ‘superficial’, ‘a tapeworm narrative’ (Sheppard 100) and ‘vile … p*rnography, not literature … immoral, but also artless’ (Miner 43)—that the publisher cancelled the contract (forfeiting the advance) only months before the scheduled release date. CEO of Simon & Schuster, Richard E. Snyder, explained: ‘it was an error of judgement to put our name on a book of such questionable taste’ (quoted in McDowell, “Vintage” 13). American Psycho was, instead, published by Random House/Knopf in March 1991 under its prestige paperback imprint, Vintage Contemporary (Zaller; Freccero 48) – Sonny Mehta having signed the book to Random House some two days after Simon & Schuster withdrew from its agreement with Ellis. While many commented on the fact that Ellis was paid two substantial advances, it was rarely noted that Random House was a more prestigious publisher than Simon & Schuster (Iannone 52). After its release, American Psycho was almost universally vilified and denigrated by the American critical establishment. The work was criticised on both moral and aesthetic/literary/artistic grounds; that is, in terms of both what Ellis wrote and how he wrote it. Critics found it ‘meaningless’ (Lehmann-Haupt C18), ‘abysmally written … schlock’ (Kennedy 427), ‘repulsive, a bloodbath serving no purpose save that of morbidity, titillation and sensation … pure trash, as scummy and mean as anything it depicts, a dirty book by a dirty writer’ (Yardley B1) and ‘garbage’ (Gurley Brown 21). Mark Archer found that ‘the attempt to confuse style with content is callow’ (31), while Naomi Wolf wrote that: ‘overall, reading American Psycho holds the same fascination as watching a maladjusted 11-year-old draw on his desk’ (34). John Leo’s assessment sums up the passionate intensity of those critical of the work: ‘totally hateful … violent junk … no discernible plot, no believable characterization, no sensibility at work that comes anywhere close to making art out of all the blood and torture … Ellis displays little feel for narration, words, grammar or the rhythm of language’ (23). These reviews, as those printed pre-publication, were titled in similarly unequivocal language: ‘A Revolting Development’ (Sheppard 100), ‘Marketing Cynicism and Vulgarity’ (Leo 23), ‘Designer p*rn’ (Manguel 46) and ‘Essence of Trash’ (Yardley B1). Perhaps the most unambiguous in its message was Roger Rosenblatt’s ‘Snuff this Book!’ (3). Of all works published in the U.S.A. at that time, including those clearly carrying X ratings, the Los Angeles chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) selected American Psycho for special notice, stating that the book ‘legitimizes inhuman and savage violence masquerading as sexuality’ (NOW 114). Judging the book ‘the most misogynistic communication’ the organisation had ever encountered (NOW L.A. chapter president, Tammy Bruce, quoted in Kennedy 427) and, on the grounds that ‘violence against women in any form is no longer socially acceptable’ (McDowell, “NOW” C17), NOW called for a boycott of the entire Random House catalogue for the remainder of 1991. Naomi Wolf agreed, calling the novel ‘a violation not of obscenity standards, but of women’s civil rights, insofar as it results in conditioning male sexual response to female suffering or degradation’ (34). Later, the boycott was narrowed to Knopf and Vintage titles (Love 46), but also extended to all of the many products, companies, corporations, firms and brand names that are a feature of Ellis’s novel (Kauffman, “American” 41). There were other unexpected responses such as the Walt Disney Corporation barring Ellis from the opening of Euro Disney (Tyrnauer 101), although Ellis had already been driven from public view after receiving a number of death threats and did not undertake a book tour (Kennedy 427). Despite this, the book received significant publicity courtesy of the controversy and, although several national bookstore chains and numerous booksellers around the world refused to sell the book, more than 100,000 copies were sold in the U.S.A. in the fortnight after publication (Dwyer 55). Even this success had an unprecedented effect: when American Psycho became a bestseller, The New York Times announced that it would be removing the title from its bestseller lists because of the book’s content. In the days following publication in the U.S.A., Canadian customs announced that it was considering whether to allow the local arm of Random House to, first, import American Psycho for sale in Canada and, then, publish it in Canada (Kirchhoff, “Psycho” C1). Two weeks later, when the book was passed for sale (Kirchhoff, “Customs” C1), demonstrators protested the entrance of a shipment of the book. In May, the Canadian Defence Force made headlines when it withdrew copies of the book from the library shelves of a navy base in Halifax (Canadian Press C1). Also in May 1991, the Australian Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC), the federal agency that administers the classification scheme for all films, computer games and ‘submittable’ publications (including books) that are sold, hired or exhibited in Australia, announced that it had classified American Psycho as ‘Category 1 Restricted’ (W. Fraser, “Book” 5), to be sold sealed, to only those over 18 years of age. This was the first such classification of a mainstream literary work since the rating scheme was introduced (Graham), and the first time a work of literature had been restricted for sale since Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint in 1969. The chief censor, John Dickie, said the OFLC could not justify refusing the book classification (and essentially banning the work), and while ‘as a satire on yuppies it has a lot going for it’, personally he found the book ‘distasteful’ (quoted in W. Fraser, “Sensitive” 5). Moreover, while this ‘R’ classification was, and remains, a national classification, Australian States and Territories have their own sale and distribution regulation systems. Under this regime, American Psycho remains banned from sale in Queensland, as are all other books in this classification category (Vnuk). These various reactions led to a flood of articles published in the U.S.A., Canada, Australia and the U.K., voicing passionate opinions on a range of issues including free speech and censorship, the corporate control of artistic thought and practice, and cynicism on the part of authors and their publishers about what works might attract publicity and (therefore) sell in large numbers (see, for instance, Hitchens 7; Irving 1). The relationship between violence in society and its representation in the media was a common theme, with only a few commentators (including Norman Mailer in a high profile Vanity Fair article) suggesting that, instead of inciting violence, the media largely reflected, and commented upon, societal violence. Elayne Rapping, an academic in the field of Communications, proposed that the media did actively glorify violence, but only because there was a market for such representations: ‘We, as a society love violence, thrive on violence as the very basis of our social stability, our ideological belief system … The problem, after all, is not media violence but real violence’ (36, 38). Many more commentators, however, agreed with NOW, Wolf and others and charged Ellis’s work with encouraging, and even instigating, violent acts, and especially those against women, calling American Psycho ‘a kind of advertising for violence against women’ (anthropologist Elliot Leyton quoted in Dwyer 55) and, even, a ‘how-to manual on the torture and dismemberment of women’ (Leo 23). Support for the book was difficult to find in the flood of vitriol directed against it, but a small number wrote in Ellis’s defence. Sonny Mehta, himself the target of death threats for acquiring the book for Random House, stood by this assessment, and was widely quoted in his belief that American Psycho was ‘a serious book by a serious writer’ and that Ellis was ‘remarkably talented’ (Knight-Ridder L10). Publishing director of Pan Macmillan Australia, James Fraser, defended his decision to release American Psycho on the grounds that the book told important truths about society, arguing: ‘A publisher’s office is a clearing house for ideas … the real issue for community debate [is] – to what extent does it want to hear the truth about itself, about individuals within the community and about the governments the community elects. If we care about the preservation of standards, there is none higher than this. Gore Vidal was among the very few who stated outright that he liked the book, finding it ‘really rather inspired … a wonderfully comic novel’ (quoted in Tyrnauer 73). Fay Weldon agreed, judging the book as ‘brilliant’, and focusing on the importance of Ellis’s message: ‘Bret Easton Ellis is a very good writer. He gets us to a ‘T’. And we can’t stand it. It’s our problem, not his. American Psycho is a beautifully controlled, careful, important novel that revolves around its own nasty bits’ (C1). Since 1991 As unlikely as this now seems, I first read American Psycho without any awareness of the controversy raging around its publication. I had read Ellis’s earlier works, Less than Zero (1985) and The Rules of Attraction (1987) and, with my energies fully engaged elsewhere, cannot now even remember how I acquired the book. Since that angry remark on the bus, however, I have followed American Psycho’s infamy and how it has remained in the public eye over the last decade and a half. Australian OFLC decisions can be reviewed and reversed – as when Pasolini’s final film Salo (1975), which was banned in Australia from the time of its release in 1975 until it was un-banned in 1993, was then banned again in 1998 – however, American Psycho’s initial classification has remained unchanged. In July 2006, I purchased a new paperback copy in rural New South Wales. It was shrink-wrapped in plastic and labelled: ‘R. Category One. Not available to persons under 18 years. Restricted’. While exact sales figures are difficult to ascertain, by working with U.S.A., U.K. and Australian figures, this copy was, I estimate, one of some 1.5 to 1.6 million sold since publication. In the U.S.A., backlist sales remain very strong, with some 22,000 copies sold annually (Holt and Abbott), while lifetime sales in the U.K. are just under 720,000 over five paperback editions. Sales in Australia are currently estimated by Pan MacMillan to total some 100,000, with a new printing of 5,000 copies recently ordered in Australia on the strength of the book being featured on the inaugural Australian Broadcasting Commission’s First Tuesday Book Club national television program (2006). Predictably, the controversy around the publication of American Psycho is regularly revisited by those reviewing Ellis’s subsequent works. A major article in Vanity Fair on Ellis’s next book, The Informers (1994), opened with a graphic description of the death threats Ellis received upon the publication of American Psycho (Tyrnauer 70) and then outlined the controversy in detail (70-71). Those writing about Ellis’s two most recent novels, Glamorama (1999) and Lunar Park (2005), have shared this narrative strategy, which also forms at least part of the frame of every interview article. American Psycho also, again predictably, became a major topic of discussion in relation to the contracting, making and then release of the eponymous film in 2000 as, for example, in Linda S. Kauffman’s extensive and considered review of the film, which spent the first third discussing the history of the book’s publication (“American” 41-45). Playing with this interest, Ellis continues his practice of reusing characters in subsequent works. Thus, American Psycho’s Patrick Bateman, who first appeared in The Rules of Attraction as the elder brother of the main character, Sean – who, in turn, makes a brief appearance in American Psycho – also turns up in Glamorama with ‘strange stains’ on his Armani suit lapels, and again in Lunar Park. The book also continues to be regularly cited in discussions of censorship (see, for example, Dubin; Freccero) and has been included in a number of university-level courses about banned books. In these varied contexts, literary, cultural and other critics have also continued to disagree about the book’s impact upon readers, with some persisting in reading the novel as a p*rnographic incitement to violence. When Wade Frankum killed seven people in Sydney, many suggested a link between these murders and his consumption of X-rated videos, p*rnographic magazines and American Psycho (see, for example, Manne 11), although others argued against this (Wark 11). Prosecutors in the trial of Canadian murderer Paul Bernardo argued that American Psycho provided a ‘blueprint’ for Bernardo’s crimes (Canadian Press A5). Others have read Ellis’s work more positively, as for instance when Sonia Baelo Allué compares American Psycho favourably with Thomas Harris’s The Silence of the Lambs (1988) – arguing that Harris not only depicts more degrading treatment of women, but also makes Hannibal Lecter, his antihero monster, sexily attractive (7-24). Linda S. Kauffman posits that American Psycho is part of an ‘anti-aesthetic’ movement in art, whereby works that are revoltingly ugly and/or grotesque function to confront the repressed fears and desires of the audience and explore issues of identity and subjectivity (Bad Girls), while Patrick W. Shaw includes American Psycho in his work, The Modern American Novel of Violence because, in his opinion, the violence Ellis depicts is not gratuitous. Lost, however, in much of this often-impassioned debate and dialogue is the book itself – and what Ellis actually wrote. 21-years-old when Less than Zero was published, Ellis was still only 26 when American Psycho was released and his youth presented an obvious target. In 1991, Terry Teachout found ‘no moment in American Psycho where Bret Easton Ellis, who claims to be a serious artist, exhibits the workings of an adult moral imagination’ (45, 46), Brad Miner that it was ‘puerile – the very antithesis of good writing’ (43) and Carol Iannone that ‘the inclusion of the now famous offensive scenes reveals a staggering aesthetic and moral immaturity’ (54). Pagan Kennedy also ‘blamed’ the entire work on this immaturity, suggesting that instead of possessing a developed artistic sensibility, Ellis was reacting to (and, ironically, writing for the approval of) critics who had lauded the documentary realism of his violent and nihilistic teenage characters in Less than Zero, but then panned his less sensational story of campus life in The Rules of Attraction (427-428). Yet, in my opinion, there is not only a clear and coherent aesthetic vision driving Ellis’s oeuvre but, moreover, a profoundly moral imagination at work as well. This was my view upon first reading American Psycho, and part of the reason I was so shocked by that charge of filth on the bus. Once familiar with the controversy, I found this view shared by only a minority of commentators. Writing in the New Statesman & Society, Elizabeth J. Young asked: ‘Where have these people been? … Books of p*rnographic violence are nothing new … American Psycho outrages no contemporary taboos. Psychotic killers are everywhere’ (24). I was similarly aware that such murderers not only existed in reality, but also in many widely accessed works of literature and film – to the point where a few years later Joyce Carol Oates could suggest that the serial killer was an icon of popular culture (233). While a popular topic for writers of crime fiction and true crime narratives in both print and on film, a number of ‘serious’ literary writers – including Truman Capote, Norman Mailer, Kate Millet, Margaret Atwood and Oates herself – have also written about serial killers, and even crossed over into the widely acknowledged as ‘low-brow’ true crime genre. Many of these works (both popular or more literary) are vivid and powerful and have, as American Psycho, taken a strong moral position towards their subject matter. Moreover, many books and films have far more disturbing content than American Psycho, yet have caused no such uproar (Young and Caveney 120). By now, the plot of American Psycho is well known, although the structure of the book, noted by Weldon above (C1), is rarely analysed or even commented upon. First person narrator, Patrick Bateman, a young, handsome stockbroker and stereotypical 1980s yuppie, is also a serial killer. The book is largely, and innovatively, structured around this seeming incompatibility – challenging readers’ expectations that such a depraved criminal can be a wealthy white professional – while vividly contrasting the banal, and meticulously detailed, emptiness of Bateman’s life as a New York über-consumer with the scenes where he humiliates, rapes, tortures, murders, mutilates, dismembers and cannibalises his victims. Although only comprising some 16 out of 399 pages in my Picador edition, these violent scenes are extreme and certainly make the work as a whole disgustingly confronting. But that is the entire point of Ellis’s work. Bateman’s violence is rendered so explicitly because its principal role in the novel is to be inescapably horrific. As noted by Baelo Allué, there is no shift in tone between the most banally described detail and the description of violence (17): ‘I’ve situated the body in front of the new Toshiba television set and in the VCR is an old tape and appearing on the screen is the last girl I filmed. I’m wearing a Joseph Abboud suit, a tie by Paul Stuart, shoes by J. Crew, a vest by someone Italian and I’m kneeling on the floor beside a corpse, eating the girl’s brain, gobbling it down, spreading Grey Poupon over hunks of the pink, fleshy meat’ (Ellis 328). In complete opposition to how p*rnography functions, Ellis leaves no room for the possible enjoyment of such a scene. Instead of revelling in the ‘spine chilling’ pleasures of classic horror narratives, there is only the real horror of imagining such an act. The effect, as Kauffman has observed is, rather than arousing, often so disgusting as to be emetic (Bad Girls 249). Ellis was surprised that his detractors did not understand that he was trying to be shocking, not offensive (Love 49), or that his overall aim was to symbolise ‘how desensitised our culture has become towards violence’ (quoted in Dwyer 55). Ellis was also understandably frustrated with readings that conflated not only the contents of the book and their meaning, but also the narrator and author: ‘The acts described in the book are truly, indisputably vile. The book itself is not. Patrick Bateman is a monster. I am not’ (quoted in Love 49). Like Fay Weldon, Norman Mailer understood that American Psycho posited ‘that the eighties were spiritually disgusting and the author’s presentation is the crystallization of such horror’ (129). Unlike Weldon, however, Mailer shied away from defending the novel by judging Ellis not accomplished enough a writer to achieve his ‘monstrous’ aims (182), failing because he did not situate Bateman within a moral universe, that is, ‘by having a murderer with enough inner life for us to comprehend him’ (182). Yet, the morality of Ellis’s project is evident. By viewing the world through the lens of a psychotic killer who, in many ways, personifies the American Dream – wealthy, powerful, intelligent, handsome, energetic and successful – and, yet, who gains no pleasure, satisfaction, coherent identity or sense of life’s meaning from his endless, selfish consumption, Ellis exposes the emptiness of both that world and that dream. As Bateman himself explains: ‘Surface, surface, surface was all that anyone found meaning in. This was civilisation as I saw it, colossal and jagged’ (Ellis 375). Ellis thus situates the responsibility for Bateman’s violence not in his individual moral vacuity, but in the barren values of the society that has shaped him – a selfish society that, in Ellis’s opinion, refused to address the most important issues of the day: corporate greed, mindless consumerism, poverty, homelessness and the prevalence of violent crime. Instead of p*rnographic, therefore, American Psycho is a profoundly political text: Ellis was never attempting to glorify or incite violence against anyone, but rather to expose the effects of apathy to these broad social problems, including the very kinds of violence the most vocal critics feared the book would engender. Fifteen years after the publication of American Psycho, although our societies are apparently growing in overall prosperity, the gap between rich and poor also continues to grow, more are permanently homeless, violence – whether domestic, random or institutionally-sanctioned – escalates, and yet general apathy has intensified to the point where even the ‘ethics’ of torture as government policy can be posited as a subject for rational debate. The real filth of the saga of American Psycho is, thus, how Ellis’s message was wilfully ignored. While critics and public intellectuals discussed the work at length in almost every prominent publication available, few attempted to think in any depth about what Ellis actually wrote about, or to use their powerful positions to raise any serious debate about the concerns he voiced. Some recent critical reappraisals have begun to appreciate how American Psycho is an ‘ethical denunciation, where the reader cannot but face the real horror behind the serial killer phenomenon’ (Baelo Allué 8), but Ellis, I believe, goes further, exposing the truly filthy causes that underlie the existence of such seemingly ‘senseless’ murder. But, Wait, There’s More It is ironic that American Psycho has, itself, generated a mini-industry of products. A decade after publication, a Canadian team – filmmaker Mary Harron, director of I Shot Andy Warhol (1996), working with scriptwriter, Guinevere Turner, and Vancouver-based Lions Gate Entertainment – adapted the book for a major film (Johnson). Starring Christian Bale, Chloë Sevigny, Willem Dafoe and Reese Witherspoon and, with an estimated budget of U.S.$8 million, the film made U.S.$15 million at the American box office. The soundtrack was released for the film’s opening, with video and DVDs to follow and the ‘Killer Collector’s Edition’ DVD – closed-captioned, in widescreen with surround sound – released in June 2005. Amazon.com lists four movie posters (including a Japanese language version) and, most unexpected of all, a series of film tie-in action dolls. The two most popular of these, judging by E-Bay, are the ‘Cult Classics Series 1: Patrick Bateman’ figure which, attired in a smart suit, comes with essential accoutrements of walkman with headphones, briefcase, Wall Street Journal, video tape and recorder, knife, cleaver, axe, nail gun, severed hand and a display base; and the 18” tall ‘motion activated sound’ edition – a larger version of the same doll with fewer accessories, but which plays sound bites from the movie. Thanks to Stephen Harris and Suzie Gibson (UNE) for stimulating conversations about this book, Stephen Harris for information about the recent Australian reprint of American Psycho and Mark Seebeck (Pan Macmillan) for sales information. References Archer, Mark. “The Funeral Baked Meats.” The Spectator 27 April 1991: 31. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. First Tuesday Book Club. First broadcast 1 August 2006. Baelo Allué, Sonia. “The Aesthetics of Serial Killing: Working against Ethics in The Silence of the Lambs (1988) and American Psycho (1991).” Atlantis 24.2 (Dec. 2002): 7-24. Canadian Press. “Navy Yanks American Psycho.” The Globe and Mail 17 May 1991: C1. Canadian Press. “Gruesome Novel Was Bedside Reading.” Kitchener-Waterloo Record 1 Sep. 1995: A5. Dubin, Steven C. “Art’s Enemies: Censors to the Right of Me, Censors to the Left of Me.” Journal of Aesthetic Education 28.4 (Winter 1994): 44-54. Dwyer, Victor. “Literary Firestorm: Canada Customs Scrutinizes a Brutal Novel.” Maclean’s April 1991: 55. Ellis, Bret Easton. American Psycho. London: Macmillan-Picador, 1991. ———. Glamorama. New York: Knopf, 1999. ———. The Informers. New York: Knopf, 1994. ———. Less than Zero. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1985. ———. Lunar Park. New York: Knopf, 2005. ———. The Rules of Attraction. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987. Fraser, James. :The Case for Publishing.” The Bulletin 18 June 1991. Fraser, William. “Book May Go under Wraps.” The Sydney Morning Herald 23 May 1991: 5. ———. “The Sensitive Censor and the Psycho.” The Sydney Morning Herald 24 May 1991: 5. Freccero, Carla. “Historical Violence, Censorship, and the Serial Killer: The Case of American Psycho.” Diacritics: A Review of Contemporary Criticism 27.2 (Summer 1997): 44-58. Graham, I. “Australian Censorship History.” Libertus.net 9 Dec. 2001. 17 May 2006 http://libertus.net/censor/hist20on.html>. Gurley Brown, Helen. Commentary in “Editorial Judgement or Censorship?: The Case of American Psycho.” The Writer May 1991: 20-23. Harris, Thomas. The Silence of the Lambs. New York: St Martins Press, 1988. Harron, Mary (dir.). American Psycho [film]. Edward R. Pressman Film Corporation, Lions Gate Films, Muse Productions, P.P.S. Films, Quadra Entertainment, Universal Pictures, 2004. Hitchens, Christopher. “Minority Report.” The Nation 7-14 January 1991: 7. Holt, Karen, and Charlotte Abbott. “Lunar Park: The Novel.” Publishers Weekly 11 July 2005. 13 Aug. 2006 http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA624404.html? pubdate=7%2F11%2F2005&display=archive>. Iannone, Carol. “PC & the Ellis Affair.” Commentary Magazine July 1991: 52-4. Irving, John. “p*rnography and the New Puritans.” The New York Times Book Review 29 March 1992: Section 7, 1. 13 Aug. 2006 http://www.nytimes.com/books/97/06/15/lifetimes/25665.html>. Johnson, Brian D. “Canadian Cool Meets American Psycho.” Maclean’s 10 April 2000. 13 Aug. 2006 http://www.macleans.ca/culture/films/article.jsp?content=33146>. Kauffman, Linda S. “American Psycho [film review].” Film Quarterly 54.2 (Winter 2000-2001): 41-45. ———. Bad Girls and Sick Boys: Fantasies in Contemporary Art and Culture. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998. Kennedy, Pagan. “Generation Gaffe: American Psycho.” The Nation 1 April 1991: 426-8. Kirchhoff, H. J. “Customs Clears Psycho: Booksellers’ Reaction Mixed.” The Globe and Mail 26 March 1991: C1. ———. “Psycho Sits in Limbo: Publisher Awaits Customs Ruling.” The Globe and Mail 14 March 1991: C1. Knight-Ridder News Service. “Vintage Picks up Ellis’ American Psycho.” Los Angeles Daily News 17 November 1990: L10. Lehmann-Haupt, Christopher. “Psycho: Wither Death without Life?” The New York Times 11 March 1991: C18. Leo, John. “Marketing Cynicism and Vulgarity.” U.S. News & World Report 3 Dec. 1990: 23. Love, Robert. “Psycho Analysis: Interview with Bret Easton Ellis.” Rolling Stone 4 April 1991: 45-46, 49-51. Mailer, Norman. “Children of the Pied Piper: Mailer on American Psycho.” Vanity Fair March 1991: 124-9, 182-3. Manguel, Alberto. “Designer p*rn.” Saturday Night 106.6 (July 1991): 46-8. Manne, Robert. “Liberals Deny the Video Link.” The Australian 6 Jan. 1997: 11. McDowell, Edwin. “NOW Chapter Seeks Boycott of ‘Psycho’ Novel.” The New York Times 6 Dec. 1990: C17. ———. “Vintage Buys Violent Book Dropped by Simon & Schuster.” The New York Times 17 Nov. 1990: 13. Miner, Brad. “Random Notes.” National Review 31 Dec. 1990: 43. National Organization for Women. Library Journal 2.91 (1991): 114. Oates, Joyce Carol. “Three American Gothics.” Where I’ve Been, and Where I’m Going: Essays, Reviews and Prose. New York: Plume, 1999. 232-43. Rapping, Elayne. “The Uses of Violence.” Progressive 55 (1991): 36-8. Rosenblatt, Roger. “Snuff this Book!: Will Brett Easton Ellis Get Away with Murder?” New York Times Book Review 16 Dec. 1990: 3, 16. Roth, Philip. Portnoy’s Complaint. New York: Random House, 1969. Shaw, Patrick W. The Modern American Novel of Violence. Troy, NY: Whitson, 2000. Sheppard, R. Z. “A Revolting Development.” Time 29 Oct. 1990: 100. Teachout, Terry. “Applied Deconstruction.” National Review 24 June 1991: 45-6. Tyrnauer, Matthew. “Who’s Afraid of Bret Easton Ellis?” Vanity Fair 57.8 (Aug. 1994): 70-3, 100-1. Vnuk, Helen. “X-rated? Outdated.” The Age 21 Sep. 2003. 17 May 2006 http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/09/19/1063625202157.html>. Wark, McKenzie. “Video Link Is a Distorted View.” The Australian 8 Jan. 1997: 11. Weldon, Fay. “Now You’re Squeamish?: In a World as Sick as Ours, It’s Silly to Target American Psycho.” The Washington Post 28 April 1991: C1. Wolf, Naomi. “The Animals Speak.” New Statesman & Society 12 April 1991: 33-4. Yardley, Jonathan. “American Psycho: Essence of Trash.” The Washington Post 27 Feb. 1991: B1. Young, Elizabeth J. “Psycho Killers. Last Lines: How to Shock the English.” New Statesman & Society 5 April 1991: 24. Young, Elizabeth J., and Graham Caveney. Shopping in Space: Essays on American ‘Blank Generation’ Fiction. London: Serpent’s Tail, 1992. Zaller, Robert “American Psycho, American Censorship and the Dahmer Case.” Revue Francaise d’Etudes Americaines 16.56 (1993): 317-25. Citation reference for this article MLA Style Brien, Donna Lee. "The Real Filth in : A Critical Reassessment." M/C Journal 9.5 (2006). echo date('d M. Y'); ?> <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0610/01-brien.php>. APA Style Brien, D. (Nov. 2006) "The Real Filth in American Psycho: A Critical Reassessment," M/C Journal, 9(5). Retrieved echo date('d M. Y'); ?> from <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0610/01-brien.php>.

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Robards, Brady. "Digital Traces of the Persona through Ten Years of Facebook." M/C Journal 17, no.3 (June11, 2014). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.818.

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When I think, rarely, about the articulation of the set of traces that I am leaving, I have the immediate apprehension that it is not the real me that’s out there on the Web. I know the times when I have censored myself (oh problematic concept!) and when I have performed actions to complement—and frequently to confound—a trace. […] Taken globally, the set of traces that we leave in the world does without doubt add up to something. It is through operations on sets of traces that I understand an event that I take part in. (Bowker 23) Over the past decade, Facebook has become integrated into the everyday lives of many of its 1.28 billion active users to the point that Facebook can no longer be considered “new media.” The site is driven by the “disclosures” (Stutzman, Gross and Acquisti) users make on the site—by uploading photos, writing status updates, commenting on posts made by others, sharing news items, entering biographical details, and so on. These digital traces of life are archived by default, persisting indefinitely as etches in Facebook’s servers around the world. Especially for young users who have grown up using Facebook, significant parts of their social and cultural lives have been played out on the site. As spaces in which the persona is enacted and made visible, social network sites like Facebook also effectively capture growing up stories through a chronicle of mediated, transitional experiences: birthdays, graduations, the beginning (and end) of relationships, first jobs, travel, and so on. For these reasons, Facebook also comes to serve as a site of memorialisation for users who have passed away. To mark its tenth anniversary (2014), Facebook drew attention to the great depth and wealth of experiences users had traced upon its pages through the release of one-minute “look back“ videos, chronicling the life of individual users over their time on Facebook. These videos have become short manifestations of the personas presented on the site, crafted through an algorithmic selection of critical moments in the user’s life (as shared on the site) to tell that user’s story. To turn Bowker’s musings in the above quote into a question, what do these sets of traces that we leave in the world add up to? In this article, I undertake a critical reading of Facebook’s look back videos to argue that they serve as the strongest reminder yet about the function of Facebook as memory archive. I draw on several sources: my own analysis of the structure of the videos themselves, the Facebook corporate blog describing the roll out of the videos, and the public campaign played out on YouTube by John Berlin to have a look back video generated for his deceased son. I argue that Facebook comes to serve two critical functions for users, as both the site upon which life narratives are performed and organised, and also the site through which the variously public and private disclosures that constitute a persona are recalled and reflected upon. In setting out these arguments, I divide this paper into three parts: first, a description and reflection upon my own experience of the look back video; second, a consideration of critical moments selected for inclusion in the look back videos by algorithm as persona; and third, a discussion of death and memorialisation, as a sharp example of the significance of the digital traces we leave behind. The Look Back Video Gentle piano music rises as the “camera” pans across an assortment of photos. The flute joins the piano, and you are reminded that you started your Facebook journey in 2006. Here is your first profile picture—you with your arm around one of your good mates when you were twenty years old. Faster now, and here are “your first moments,” presented as images you have shared: March 2008, some of your closest friends who you met during your undergraduate studies, standing around sharing a drink; April 2008, a photo of a friend eating a biscuit, mid-conversation (she’d hate this one); and one last photo from April 2008, the biscuit-eating friend’s ex-boyfriend looking coy (you no longer speak to him, but he is still on your Friends list). Now enter the violins, seventeen seconds in. Things are getting nostalgic. Here are “your most liked posts”: July 2012, “thesis submitted for examination, yo” (46 likes); November 2012, “Trust me, I’m a Doctor… of Philosophy” (98 likes); February 2013, a mess of text announcing that you’ve found a job and you’ll be leaving your hometown (106 likes). Thirty-five seconds in now, and the pace of the music changes—look how far you have come. Here are some photos you have shared: December 2008, you at a bowling alley with your arm around one of your best friends who now lives overseas; October 2009, friends trying to sleep on your couch, being disturbed by the flash of your camera; June 2010, a family shot at your mother’s birthday. The pace quickens now, as we move into the final quarter of the video: September 2010, you on the beach with friends visiting from overseas; October 2011, you with some people you met in Canada whose names you don’t recall; (images now moving faster and faster) November 2011, ice skating with friends; March 2012, a wedding in Hawaii where you were the best man; December 2012, celebrating the conferral of your PhD with two colleagues; and finally July 2013, farewelling colleagues at a going away party. In the final ten seconds, the music reaches its crescendo and the camera pans backwards to reveal a bigger collage of photos of you and your nearest and dearest. Facebook’s trademark “thumbs up”/like symbol signals the end of the retrospective, looking back on the critical moments from the last eight and a half years of your life. Underneath the video, as if signing off a card accompanying a birthday present, is “Mark” (Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, in a faux hand-written font) “and the Facebook Team.” Facebook is you, the note seems to imply; for our anniversary, we present you back to yourself (see fig. 1). On 4 February 2014, the look back video feature was made available to all Facebook users. Some 200 million watched their videos, and more than 50% shared them with their networks (Spiridonov and Bandaru). In other words, around 100 million Facebook users held up their own individually generated look back videos as a record of the persona they had crafted through the site, and shared that persona retrospective with their networks. The videos work in the same way that television news programs piece together memorial clips for celebrities who have passed away, blending emotive music with visuals that conjure up memories and reflections. The first point of difference is that Facebook’s look back videos were intended for the living (although this function shifted as I will explain in a case study towards the end of this piece) to reflect on their own personas presented through the site, and then (about half the time) shared with their networks. The second difference is the technical, automated process of piecing together, rendering, storing, and streaming these videos on a large scale. Spiridonov and Bandaru, two Facebook engineers writing on the site’s Engineering Blog, described the rapid development and rollout of the videos. They explain the enormous pool of technical resources and human capital that were brought to bear on the project, including thirty teams across the company, in just 25 days. They end their explanatory post with an homage to “the things [they] love about Facebook culture” that the project represented for them, including “helping hundreds of millions of people connect with those who are important to them” (Spiridonov and Bandaru). The look back videos also serve a deeper purpose that isn’t addressed explicitly in any explanatory notes or press releases: to demonstrate the great depth of disclosures users make and are implicated in by others on the site. In a one-minute look back video, these disclosures come to serve as the very digital traces that Bowker was interested in, forming a longitudinal record of the persona. Algorithms and Critical Moments Although the explanatory post by Spiridonov and Bandaru did not go into details, the algorithm that determines which photos and status updates go into the look back videos appears to consider the quantity of likes and (potentially) comments on posts, while also seeking to sample disclosures made across the user’s time on the site. The latter consideration works to reinforce the perception of the longitudinal nature of the site’s memory, and the extent to which the life of the user has become entangled with, enmeshed in, and mediated through Facebook. Through the logic of the look back algorithm, critical moments in the user’s life course—those experiences that mark out narratives of growing up—become measured not in terms of their value for individuals, but instead through a quantitative metric of “likes.” While after the initial release of the look back feature, Facebook did provide users with the functionality to alter their videos with some limited control over which images could be featured, the default was determined by the algorithm. Social network sites have come to serve as spaces for reflexive identity work, for the development of personas for young people (boyd; Livingstone; Hodkinson and Lincoln; Lincoln; Robards). The transition towards adulthood is punctuated and shaped by “critical moments” (Thomson et al.) such as moving out of home, dropping out of school, entering a relationship, learning to drive, a death in the family, going clubbing for the first time, and so on. In Giddens’ terms, the “fateful moment” (from which Thomson et al. borrow in conceptualising the critical moment), is “highly consequential for a person’s destiny” (121), and should be understood as distinct from but certainly affecting the inconsequential goings-on of daily life. When these critical moments are articulated and made visible on social network sites like Facebook, and then subsequently archived by way of the persistent nature of these sites, they become key markers in a mediated growing up story for young people. Livingstone points towards the role of these sites for young people who are “motivated to construct identities, to forge new social groupings, and to negotiate alternatives to given cultural meanings” (4). Sharing, discussing, and remembering these critical moments becomes an important activity on social network sites, and thus the look back video serves to neatly capture critical moments in a one minute retrospective. Facebook has also started prompting users to record critical moments through predetermined, normative categories (see fig. 2) such as romance (a first kiss), health (losing weight and not smoking), purchases (buying a house and a car), and civic duty (voting and military service). These disclosure prompts operate at a deeper level to the logic of sharing whatever you are doing right now, and instead feed into that longitudinal memory of the site. As I have argued elsewhere (see Robards) it is clear that not all critical moments are disclosed equally on social network sites. Users may choose not to disclose some critical moments – such as breakups and periods of depression or anxiety – instead preferring to present an “idealised self.” Goffman explains that idealised presentations are aspirational, and that individuals will perform the best version of themselves (44). This isn’t a fake persona or a deception, but simply a presentation of what the individual regards to be the best qualities and appearances, contingent upon what Goffman described as the standards of the region (110). What constitutes an “authentic” persona on Facebook is clearly subjective, and dependent on those region specific standards. In my earlier research on MySpace, the quantity of friends one had was an indicator of popularity, or a quantitative measure of social capital, but over time and with the shift to Facebook this appeared to change, such that smaller networks became more “authentic” (Robards). Similarly, the kinds of disclosures users make on Facebook will vary depending on the conventions of use they have established within their own networks. Importantly, the look back algorithm challenges the user’s capacity to value their own critical moments, or indeed any moments or disclosures that might mark out a narrative of self, and instead chooses moments for the user. In this scenario, at least initially, the look back algorithm co-constructs the retrospective persona summary for the user. Only with effort, and only to a certain extent, can the user exercise curatorial control over that process. Death and Other Conclusions Although the initial function of the look back videos was for users to reflect on their own personas presented through Facebook, users who had lost loved ones quickly sought look back videos for the deceased. John Berlin, a Facebook user who had lost his son Jesse in 2012, tried to access a look back video for his son but was unsuccessful. He posted his plea to YouTube, which received almost three million views, and was eventually successful, after his request “touched the hearts of everyone who heard it” including Facebook staff (Price and DiSclafani). After receiving numerous similar requests, Facebook established a form where people could make have videos for deceased users rendered. In the words of Facebook staff, this was part of the site’s commitment to “preserve legacies on Facebook” (Price and DiSclafani). There is a growing body of research on the digital traces we leave behind after death. Leaver points out that when social media users die, the “significant value of the media traces a user leaves behind” is highlighted. Certainly, this has been the case with the look back videos, further supporting Leaver’s claim. John Berlin’s plea to have his deceased son’s look back video made available to him was presented as a key factor in Facebook’s decision to make these videos available to loved ones. Although the video’s narrative was unchanged (still pitched to users themselves, rather than their loved ones) John Berlin shared his son’s look back video on YouTube to a much wider network than he or his son may have previously imagined. Indeed, Gibson has argued that “digital remains cannot easily be claimed back into a private possessive sphere of ownership” (214). Although Jesse Berlin’s look back video did not reach the millions of viewers his father’s plea reached, on YouTube it still had some 423,000 views, clearly moving beyond Gibson’s “private possessive sphere” (214) to became a very public memorial. Bowker makes the observation that his friends and acquaintances who died before 1992 are sparsely represented online. In 1992, the first widely adopted web browser Mosaic made the Internet accessible for ordinary people in an everyday context. Bowker goes on to explain that his friends who died post-Mosaic “carry on a rich afterlife [… they] still receive email messages; links to their website rot very slowly; their informal thoughts are often captured on list-serv archives, on comments they have left on a website” (23). For Bowker, the rise of the Internet has brought about a “new regime of memory practices” (34). The implications of this new “paradigm of the trace” for Facebook users are only now becoming clear, multiplied in depth and complexity compared to the forms of digital traces Bowker was discussing. The dead, of course, have always left traces—letters, bureaucratic documents, photographs, and so on. There is nothing particularly new about the social and cultural traces that the dead leave behind, only in the way these traces persist and are circulated as the Berlin case study makes clear. The look back video brings the significance of the digital trace into a new light, challenging concepts of personal histories and the longevity of everyday personas. Now that Facebook has developed the infrastructure and the processes for rolling out these look back features, there is the possibility that we will see more in the future. The site already provides annual summaries of the user’s year on Facebook in December. It is possible that look back videos could mark out other moments, too: birthdays, new relationships, potentially even the deaths of loved ones. Might Facebook look back videos – in future forms and iterations, no doubt distinct from the ten-year anniversary video described here – come to serve as a central mechanism for memory, nostalgia, and memorialisation? I don’t have the same kind of apprehension that Bowker expresses in the quote at the top of this article, where he reflects on whether or not it is the “real” him out there on the web. Through Goffman’s dramaturgical lens, I am convinced that there is no single “authentic” persona, but rather many sides to the personas we present to others and to ourselves. The Facebook look back video figures into that presentation and that reflection, albeit through an algorithm that projects a curated set of critical moments back to us. In this sense, these videos become mirrors through which Facebook users experience the personas they have mediated on the site. Facebook is surely aware of this significance, and will no doubt continue to build the importance and depth of the digital traces users inscribe on the site into their plans for the future. References Bowker, Geoffrey C. “The Past and the Internet.” Structures of Participation in Digital Culture. New York: Social Science Research Council, 2007. 20-36. boyd, danah. “Social Network Sites as Networked Publics: Affordances, Dynamics, and Implications.” A Networked Self: Identity, Community, and Culture on Social Network Sites. New York: Routledge, 2011. 39-58. Gibson, Margaret. “Digital Objects of the Dead: Negotiating Electronic Remains.” The Social Construction of Death: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Ed. Leen van Brussel and Nico Carpentier. Palgrave, 2014: 212-229. Giddens, Anthony. Modernity and Self-Identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 1993. Goffman, Erving. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. London: Penguin, 1959. Hodkinson, Paul, and Sian Lincoln. “Online Journals as Virtual Bedrooms? Young People, Identity and Personal Space.” Young 16.1 (2008): 27-46. Leaver, Tama. “The Social Media Contradiction: Data Mining and Digital Death.” M/C Journal 16.2 (2013). Lincoln, Siân. Youth Culture and Private Space. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. Stutzman, Fred, Robert Capra, and Jamila Thompson. “Factors Mediating Disclosure in Social Network Sites.” Computers in Human Behavior 27.1 (2011): 590-598. Livingstone, Sonia. “Taking Risky Opportunities in Youthful Content Creation: Teenagers' Use of Social Networking Sites for Intimacy, Privacy and Self-Expression.” New Media & Society 10.3 (2008): 393-411. Robards, Brady. “Leaving MySpace, Joining Facebook: ‘Growing Up’ on Social Network Sites.” Continuum 26.3 (2012): 385-398. Thomson, Rachel, et al. “Critical Moments: Choice, Chance and Opportunity in Young People's Narratives of Transition.” Sociology 36.2 (2002): 335-354.

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Kennedy, Jenny, Indigo Holcombe-James, and Kate Mannell. "Access Denied." M/C Journal 24, no.3 (June21, 2021). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2785.

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Introduction As social-distancing mandates in response to COVID-19 restricted in-person data collection methods such as participant observation and interviews, researchers turned to socially distant methods such as interviewing via video-conferencing technology (Lobe et al.). These were not new tools nor methods, but the pandemic muted any bias towards face-to-face data collection methods. Exemplified in crowd-sourced documents such as Doing Fieldwork in a Pandemic, researchers were encouraged to pivot to digital methods as a means of fulfilling research objectives, “specifically, ideas for avoiding in-person interactions by using mediated forms that will achieve similar ends” (Lupton). The benefits of digital methods for expanding participant cohorts and scope of research have been touted long before 2020 and COVID-19, and, as noted by Murthy, are “compelling” (“Emergent” 172). Research conducted by digital methods can expect to reap benefits such as “global datasets/respondents” and “new modalities for involving respondents” (Murthy, “Emergent” 172). The pivot to digital methods is not in and of itself an issue. What concerns us is that in the dialogues about shifting to digital methods during COVID-19, there does not yet appear to have been a critical consideration of how participant samples and collected data will be impacted upon or skewed towards recording the experiences of advantaged cohorts. Existing literature focusses on the time-saving benefits for the researcher, reduction of travel costs (Fujii), the minimal costs for users of specific platforms – e.g. Skype –, and presumes ubiquity of device access for participants (Cater). We found no discussion on data costs of accessing such services being potential barriers to participation in research, although Deakin and Wakefield did share our concern that: Online interviews may ... mean that some participants are excluded due to the need to have technological competence required to participate, obtain software and to maintain Internet connection for the duration of the discussion. In this sense, access to certain groups may be a problem and may lead to issues of representativeness. (605) We write this as a provocation to our colleagues conducting research at this time to consider the cultural and material capital of their participants and how that capital enables them to participate in digitally-mediated data gathering practices, or not, and to what extent. Despite highlighting the potential benefits of digital methods within a methodological tool kit, Murthy previously cautioned against the implications posed by digital exclusion, noting that “the drawback of these research options is that membership of these communities is inherently restricted to the digital ‘haves’ ... rather than the ‘have nots’” (“Digital” 845). In this article, we argue that while tools such as Zoom have indeed enabled fieldwork to continue despite COVID disruptions, this shift to online platforms has important and under-acknowledged implications for who is and is not able to participate in research. In making this argument, we draw on examples from the Connected Students project, a study of digital inclusion that commenced just as COVID-19 restrictions came into effect in the Australian state of Victoria at the start of 2020. We draw on the experiences of these households to illustrate the barriers that such cohorts face when participating in online research. We begin by providing details about the Connected Students project and then contextualising it through a discussion of research on digital inclusion. We then outline three areas in which households would have experienced (or still do experience) difficulties participating in online research: data, devices, and skills. We use these findings to highlight the barriers that disadvantaged groups may face when engaging in data collection activities over Zoom and question how this is impacting on who is and is not being included in research during COVID-19. The Connected Students Program The Connected Students program was conducted in Shepparton, a regional city located 180km north of Melbourne. The town itself has a population of around 30,000, while the Greater Shepparton region comprises around 64,000 residents. Shepparton was chosen as the program’s site because it is characterised by a unique combination of low-income and low levels of digital inclusion. First, Shepparton ranks in the lowest interval for the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) and the Index of Relative Socioeconomic Advantage and Disadvantage (IRSAD), as reported in 2016 (Australian Bureau of Statistics, “Census”; Australian Bureau of Statistics, “Index”). Although Shepparton has a strong agricultural and horticultural industry with a number of food-based manufacturing companies in the area, including fruit canneries, dairies, and food processing plants, the town has high levels of long-term and intergenerational unemployment and jobless families. Second, Shepparton is in a regional area that ranks in the lowest interval for the Australian Digital Inclusion Index (Thomas et al.), which measures digital inclusion across dimensions of access, ability, and affordability. Funded by Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications provider, and delivered in partnership with Greater Shepparton Secondary College (GSSC), the Connected Students program provided low-income households with a laptop and an unlimited broadband Internet connection for up to two years. Households were recruited to the project via GSSC. To be eligible, households needed to hold a health care card and have at least one child attending the school in year 10, 11, or 12. Both the student and a caregiver were required to participate in the project to be eligible. Additional household members were invited to take part in the research, but were not required to. (See Kennedy & Holcombe-James; and Kennedy et al., "Connected Students", for further details regarding household demographics.) The Australian Digital Inclusion Index identifies that affordability is a significant barrier to digital inclusion in Australia (Thomas et al.). The project’s objective was to measure how removing affordability barriers to accessing connectivity for households impacts on digital inclusion. By providing participating households with a free unlimited broadband internet connection for the duration of the research, the project removed the costs associated with digital access. Access alone is not enough to resolve the digital exclusion confronted by these low-income households. Digital exclusion in these instances is not derived simply from the cost of Internet access, but from the cost of digital devices. As a result, these households typically lacked sufficient digital devices. Each household was therefore provided both a high speed Internet connection, and a brand new laptop with built-in camera, microphone, and speakers (a standard tool kit for video conferencing). Data collection for the Connected Students project was intended to be conducted face-to-face. We had planned in-person observations including semi-structured interviews with household members conducted at three intervals throughout the project’s duration (beginning, middle, and end), and technology tours of each home to spatially and socially map device locations and uses (Kennedy et al., Digital Domesticity). As we readied to make our first research trip to commence the study, COVID-19 was wreaking havoc. It quickly became apparent we would not be travelling to work, much less travelling around the state. We thus pivoted to digital methods, with all our data collection shifting online to interviews conducted via digital platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. While the pivot to digital methods saved travel hours, allowing us to scale up the number of households we planned to interview, it also demonstrated unexpected aspects of our participants’ lived experiences of digital exclusion. In this article, we draw on our first round of interviews which were conducted with 35 households over Zoom or Microsoft Teams during lockdown. The practice of conducting these interviews reveals insights into the barriers that households faced to digital research participation. In describing these experiences, we use pseudonyms for individual participants and refer to households using the pseudonym for the student participant from that household. Why Does Digital Inclusion Matter? Digital inclusion is broadly defined as universal access to the technologies necessary to participate in social and civic life (Helsper; Livingstone and Helsper). Although recent years have seen an increase in the number of connected households and devices (Thomas et al., “2020”), digital inclusion remains uneven. As elsewhere, digital disadvantage in the Australian context falls along geographic and socioeconomic lines (Alam and Imran; Atkinson et al.; Blanchard et al.; Rennie et al.). Digitally excluded population groups typically experience some combination of education, employment, income, social, and mental health hardship; their predicament is compounded by a myriad of important services moving online, from utility payments, to social services, to job seeking platforms (Australian Council of Social Service; Chen; Commonwealth Ombudsman). In addition to challenges in using essential services, digitally excluded Australians also miss out on the social and cultural benefits of Internet use (Ragnedda and Ruiu). Digital inclusion – and the affordability of digital access – should thus be a key concern for researchers looking to apply online methods. Households in the lowest income quintile spend 6.2% of their disposable income on telecommunications services, almost three times more than wealthier households (Ogle). Those in the lowest income quintile pay a “poverty premium” for their data, almost five times more per unit of data than those in the highest income quintile (Ogle and Musolino). As evidenced by the Australian Digital Inclusion Index, this is driven in part by a higher reliance on mobile-only access (Thomas et al., “2020”). Low-income households are more likely to access critical education, business, and government services through mobile data rather than fixed broadband data (Thomas et al., “2020”). For low-income households, digital participation is the top expense after housing, food, and transport, and is higher than domestic energy costs (Ogle). In the pursuit of responsible and ethical research, we caution against assuming research participants are able to bear the brunt of access costs in terms of having a suitable device, expending their own data resources, and having adequate skills to be able to complete the activity without undue stress. We draw examples from the Connected Students project to support this argument below. Findings: Barriers to Research Participation for Digitally Excluded Households If the Connected Students program had not provided participating households with a technology kit, their preexisting conditions of digital exclusion would have limited their research participation in three key ways. First, households with limited Internet access (particularly those reliant on mobile-only connectivity, and who have a few gigabytes of data per month) would have struggled to provide the data needed for video conferencing. Second, households would have struggled to participate due to a lack of adequate devices. Third, and critically, although the Connected Students technology kit provided households with the data and devices required to participate in the digital ethnography, this did not necessarily resolve the skills gaps that our households confronted. Data Prior to receiving the Connected Students technology kit, many households in our sample had limited modes of connectivity and access to data. For households with comparatively less or lower quality access to data, digital participation – whether for the research discussed here, or in contemporary life – came with very real costs. This was especially the case for households that did not have a home Internet connection and instead relied solely on mobile data. For these households, who carefully managed their data to avoid running out, participating in research through extended video conferences would have been impossible unless adequate financial reimbursem*nt was offered. Households with very limited Internet access used a range of practices to manage and extend their data access by shifting internet costs away from the household budget. This often involved making use of free public Wi-Fi or library internet services. Ellie’s household, for instance, spent their weekends at the public library so that she and her sister could complete their homework. While laborious, these strategies worked well for the families in everyday life. However, they would have been highly unsuitable for participating in research, particularly during the pandemic. On the most obvious level, the expectations of library use – if not silent, then certainly quiet – would have prohibited a successful interview. Further, during COVID-19 lockdowns, public libraries (and other places that provide public Internet) became inaccessible for significant periods of time. Lastly, for some research designs, the location of participants is important even when participation is occurring online. In the case of our own project, the house itself as the site of the interview was critical as our research sought to understand how the layout and materiality of the home impacts on experiences of digital inclusion. We asked participants to guide us around their home, showing where technologies and social activities are colocated. In using the data provided by the Connected Students technology kit, households with limited Internet were able to conduct interviews within their households. For these families, participating in online research would have been near impossible without the Connected Students Internet. Devices Even with adequate Internet connections, many households would have struggled to participate due to a lack of suitable devices. Laptops, which generally provide the best video conferencing experience, were seen as prohibitively expensive for many families. As a result, many families did not have a laptop or were making do with a laptop that was excessively slow, unreliable, and/or had very limited functions. Desktop computers were rare and generally outdated to the extent that they were not able to support video conferencing. One parent, Melissa, described their barely-functioning desktop as “like part of the furniture more than a computer”. Had the Connected Students program not provided a new laptop with video and audio capabilities, participation in video interviews would have been difficult. This is highlighted by the challenges students in these households faced in completing online schooling prior to receiving the Connected Students kit. A participating student, Mallory, for example, explained she had previously not had a laptop, reliant only on her phone and an old iPad: Interviewer: Were you able to do all your homework on those, or was it sometimes tricky?Mallory: Sometimes it was tricky, especially if they wanted to do a call or something ... . Then it got a bit hard because then I would use up all my data, and then didn’t have much left.Interviewer: Yeah. Right.Julia (Parent): ... But as far as schoolwork, it’s hard to do everything on an iPad. A laptop or a computer is obviously easier to manoeuvre around for different things. This example raises several common issues that would likely present barriers to research participation. First, Mallory’s household did not have a laptop before being provided with one through the Connected Students program. Second, while her household did prioritise purchasing tablets and smartphones, which could be used for video conferencing, these were more difficult to navigate for certain tasks and used up mobile data which, as noted above, was often a limited resource. Lastly, it is worth noting that in households which did already own a functioning laptop, it was often shared between several household members. As one parent, Vanessa, noted, “yeah, until we got the [Connected Students] devices, we had one laptop between the four of us that are here. And Noel had the majority use of that because that was his school work took priority”. This lack of individuated access to a device would make participation in some research designs difficult, particularly those that rely on regular access to a suitable device. Skills Despite the Connected Students program’s provision of data and device access, this did not ensure successful research participation. Many households struggled to engage with video research interviews due to insufficient digital skills. While a household with Internet connectivity might be considered on the “right” side of the digital divide, connectivity alone does not ensure participation. People also need to have the knowledge and skills required to use online resources. Brianna’s household, for example, had downloaded Microsoft Teams to their desktop computer in readiness for the interview, but had neglected to consider whether that device had video or audio capabilities. To work around this restriction, the household decided to complete the interview via the Connected Students laptop, but this too proved difficult. Neither Brianna nor her parents were confident in transferring the link to the interview between devices, whether by email or otherwise, requiring the researchers to talk them through the steps required to log on, find, and send the link via email. While Brianna’s household faced digital skills challenges that affected both parent and student participants, in others such as Ariel’s, these challenges were focussed at the parental level. In these instances, the student participant provided a vital resource, helping adults navigate platforms and participate in the research. As Celeste, Ariel’s parent, explained, it's just new things that I get a bit – like, even on here, because your email had come through to me and I said to Ariel "We're going to use your computer with Teams. How do we do this?" So, yeah, worked it out. I just had to look up my email address, but I [initially thought] oh, my god; what am I supposed to do here? Although helpful in our own research given its focus on school-aged young people, this dynamic of parents being helped by their dependents illustrates that the adults in our sample were often unfamiliar with the digital skills required for video conferencing. Research focussing only on adults, or on households in which students have not developed these skills through extended periods of online education such as occurred during the COVID-19 lockdowns, may find participants lacking the digital skills to participate in video interviews. Participation was also impacted upon by participants' lack of more subtle digital skills around the norms and conventions of video conferencing. Several households, for example, conducted their interviews in less ideal situations, such as from both moving and parked cars. A portion of the household interview with Piper’s household was completed as they drove the 30 minutes from their home into Shepperton. Due to living out of town, this household often experienced poor reception. The interview was thus regularly disrupted as they dropped in and out of range, with the interview transcript peppered with interjections such as “we’re going through a bit of an Internet light spot ... we’re back ... sorry ...” (Karina, parent). Finally, Piper switched the device on which they were taking the interview to gain a better connection: “my iPad that we were meeting on has worse Internet than my phone Internet, so we kind of changed it around” (Karina). Choosing to participate in the research from locations other than the home provides evidence of the limited time available to these families, and the onerousness of research participation. These choices also indicate unfamiliarity with video conferencing norms. As digitally excluded households, these participants were likely not the target of popular discussions throughout the pandemic about optimising video conferences through careful consideration of lighting, background, make-up and positioning (e.g. Lasky; Niven-Phillips). This was often identified by how participants positioned themselves in front of the camera, often choosing not to sit squarely within the camera lens. Sometimes this was because several household members were participating and struggled to all sit within view of the single device, but awkward camera positioning also occurred with only one or two people present. A number of interviews were initially conducted with shoulders, or foreheads, or ceilings rather than “whole” participants until we asked them to reposition the device so that the camera was pointing towards their faces. In noting this unfamiliarity we do not seek to criticise or apportion responsibility for accruing such skills to participating households, but rather to highlight the impact this had on the type of conversation between researcher and participant. Such practices offer valuable insight into how digital exclusion impacts on individual’s everyday lives as well as on their research participation. Conclusion Throughout the pandemic, digital methods such as video conferencing have been invaluable for researchers. However, while these methods have enabled fieldwork to continue despite COVID-19 disruptions, the shift to online platforms has important and under-acknowledged implications for who is and is not able to participate in research. In this article, we have drawn on our research with low-income households to demonstrate the barriers that such cohorts experience when participating in online research. Without the technology kits provided as part of our research design, these households would have struggled to participate due to a lack of adequate data and devices. Further, even with the kits provided, households faced additional barriers due to a lack of digital literacy. These experiences raise a number of questions that we encourage researchers to consider when designing methods that avoid in person interactions, and when reviewing studies that use similar approaches: who doesn’t have the technological access needed to participate in digital and online research? What are the implications of this for who and what is most visible in research conducted during the pandemic? Beyond questions of access, to what extent will disadvantaged populations not volunteer to participate in online research because of discomfort or unfamiliarity with digital tools and norms? When low-income participants are included, how can researchers ensure that participation does not unduly burden them by using up precious data resources? And, how can researchers facilitate positive and meaningful participation among those who might be less comfortable interacting through mediums like video conferencing? In raising these questions we acknowledge that not all research will or should be focussed on engaging with disadvantaged cohorts. Rather, our point is that through asking questions such as this, we will be better able to reflect on how data and participant samples are being impacted upon by shifts to digital methods during COVID-19 and beyond. As researchers, we may not always be able to adapt Zoom-based methods to be fully inclusive, but we can acknowledge this as a limitation and keep it in mind when reporting our findings, and later when engaging with the research that was largely conducted online during the pandemic. Lastly, while the Connected Students project focusses on impacts of affordability on digital inclusion, digital disadvantage intersects with many other forms of disadvantage. Thus, while our study focussed specifically on financial disadvantage, our call to be aware of who is and is not able to participate in Zoom-based research applies to digital exclusion more broadly, whatever its cause. Acknowledgements The Connected Students project was funded by Telstra. This research was also supported under the Australian Research Council's Discovery Early Career Researchers Award funding scheme (project number DE200100540). References Alam, Khorshed, and Sophia Imran. “The Digital Divide and Social Inclusion among Refugee Migrants: A Case in Regional Australia.” Information Technology & People 28.2 (2015): 344–65. Atkinson, John, Rosemary Black, and Allan Curtis. “Exploring the Digital Divide in an Australian Regional City: A Case Study of Albury”. Australian Geographer 39.4 (2008): 479–493. 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