In this article I apply policy frame and visual analysis to explore UNICEF’s advocacy for girls’ education on Instagram. I consider a purposefully selected sample of photos and captions instagrammed from UNICEF’s official account so as to describe the policy framing of girls’ education policy, and population targeting. A parallel goal of this article is to interrogate the ethics of using image-intensive new media data in education policy research. My findings expose the ways in which girls’ images and experiences are used to promote UNICEF’s agenda and advocacy for girls’ education. I show the need for adapting protocols for working ethically with publicly available social media data in education policy research.
Memory and Music Video in Post-Soviet Armenia
This article examines the production of patriotic music videos in post-Soviet Armenia. In particular, it deals with music videos dedicated to the heritage of Sassoun, a mountainous region in presentday Turkey that was famous for its resistance in the era leading up to the Armenian Genocide of 1915. The role of music videos in transmitting embodied memories of the lost homeland to new generations is shown to problematize Paul Connerton’s claim that media saturation in modernity promotes cultural amnesia. A comparison of the Sassoun music videos with media artifacts endorsed in the recent inscription of Armenia’s national epic Daredevils of Sassoun on UNESCO’s List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity demonstrates how the interplay between mediatization and institutionalization facilitates the recollection of embodied memories.
Girls, ethnicity and mediated doll products
Angharad N. Valdivia
Drawing on a theoretical framework that combines Media Studies, Latina/o Studies, and Girls Studies with the concept of hybridity, I explore American Girl, Dora the Explorer, and Bratz—three mediated doll lines—as manifestations of an ethnic identity crisis that in turns generates a moral panic that seeks to return whiteness and conventional femininity to its normalized mainstream standing. Issues of production, representation, and reception of mediated doll lines illuminate both a synergistic marketing strategy and a contested reception of hybrid mediated dolls. As such, mediated doll lines can be productively examined as they are an excellent vehicle for understanding contemporary agendas over gender, age, class, and ethnicity.
Performing Culture and Remembering the Past in Osogbo, Nigeria
This article focuses on the debate about cultural heritage in the context of art, history, and politics in the Yoruba town of Osogbo in southwest Nigeria. Some forty years ago, Osogbo became the center of a vibrant art scene. Today Osogbo’s fame as a symbol for the renaissance of Yoruba art and culture has faded. What has survived, however, is the debate about the shrines and sculptures shaped by the Austrian-born artist, Susanne Wenger, and her local collaborators in the grove of Osogbo’s guardian deity Osun. It is argued that the present day conflicts about the meaning of the image works standing in the Osun grove are based upon their perception not so much as art but rather as media which in the very sense of the word—mediate between different realms of social importance in terms of time, space, power, and wealth.
Chloe Krystyna Garcia and Ayesha Vemuri
Sexual violence continues to be normalized in modern society through heterosexist jokes and problematic portrayals of female sexuality. A number of young female activists use YouTube as a technology of nonviolence to share their thoughts about rape culture and how it can be transformed. We performed a thematic analysis of 10 videos produced by young women and girls to investigate what they identify as rape culture and how they use videos to communicate their messages. We argue that they offer meaningful insight into the institutions that contribute to the normalization of sexual violence, including schools and universities, the media, and legal and political systems. We believe that stakeholders interested in dismantling rape culture can use these videos to educate themselves and others about the concerns voiced by women and girls, who are, arguably, the population most affected by sexual violence.
Ethical Participatory Visual Research with Girls
Astrid Treffry-Goatley, Lisa Wiebesiek, Naydene de Lange and Relebohile Moletsane
Rapid developments in digital technologies have sparked revolutionary shifts in participatory research. Emerging tools such as digital stories and cellphilms offer participants opportunities to engage actively in research and to produce media about their everyday lives. Yet, while these may enable such engagement, researchers need to ensure that the very tools meant as technologies of nonviolence are not in and of themselves violent. This article uses a technology-based, participatory visual methods workshop conducted with girls and young women as part of addressing sexual violence in a rural community in South Africa as a case study. We identify and reflect on some of the ethical issues that arose during the workshop and how we addressed them. Our aim is always to locate our work on addressing sexual violence with young rural women within an ethics of nonviolence rooted in and responsive to the context in which we work.
In Conversation with Eylem Atakav
Child marriage affects many young girls and women all over the world, and yet, while the number of cases is extremely alarming, there appears to be hardly any awareness of the subject, never mind public visibility. The consequences of forced marriage are dire with severe psychological, physical, and social impact on girls and women. If we are to raise awareness, the silence surrounding forced child marriage needs to be broken. In her documentary film Growing Up Married (2016), feminist media scholar Eylem Atakav faces the issue head-on. Her film brings to the screen four women from Turkey who were forced into marriage as children; as adults, they recollect their memories, on camera, for the first time. Growing Up Married—a milestone of feminist filmmaking in its celebration of women’s narratives of survival—foregrounds their voices as they tell their stories of having been child brides.
The Adolescent Female Body in YA Fantasy
In this article I explore how mythopoeic Young Adult (YA) fantasy offers examples of living and being an adolescent female body that challenge the dominant, hegemonic discourses dictating the adolescent girl's appearance in the West's imagesaturated culture. I begin by establishing the features of mythopoeic YA fantasy, before looking at Daine in Tamora Pierce's Immortals quartet and Cinder(ella) in Marissa Meyer's The Lunar Chronicles. Daine's shape-shifting body and Cinder's cybernetic one offer bodily change as an integral part of the (adolescent female) body, as opposed to the fixed perfection required by the fantasy femininity on offer in popular culture, including print, televisual, and social media. Employing a reading of touch in order to explore the multiplicity that is available on, and through, these bodies, I question the representational economy dominating the hegemonic discursive construction of the adolescent girl.
The Case of the Hungarian Student Network in 2012–2013
Bálint Takács, Sára Bigazzi, Ferenc Arató and Sára Serdült
This article examines media representations of statements made by the 2012 student movement in Hungary. We analyzed a total of 138 articles from two main Hungarian online journals. We found that both outlets focused strictly on the movement’s specific claims about educational policy but neglected to report on the broader political-ideological claims that it made. The emphasized claims reflected the specific political agenda of each outlet, with both newspapers also framing events according to the outlook of Hungary’s dominant political establishment (Fidesz). We then traced the dialogue between the Hungarian government and the student movement over time. We found that the movement was the much more active partner in this dialogue. We coded the co-occurrences of psycholinguistic markers, testing perspective-taking as a requirement for dialogue. The results indicated that the dialogue was a pretense of negotiation from the government and ended with insignificant adjustments to its original plans.
Pascal Wallisch and Jake Alden Whritner
Neuroimaging research suggests that watching a movie synchronizes brain activity between observers. This is surprising in light of anecdotal reports that viewers construct their experience radically differently, consistent with contemporary cognitive media theory. This article empirically tests the degree of agreement in the appraisal of commercially produced major motion pictures. Ratings for more than two hundred carefully selected movies were solicited from a diverse pool of more than three thousand study participants. Doing so shows that intersubjective movie appraisal is strikingly low but significantly different from zero. The article also shows that these ratings correlate only weakly with the judgment of professional movie critics. Taken together, this study supports the notion that movies are an extremely rich, highly dimensional narrative stimulus with many degrees of freedom for viewers to construct their subjective experience in a highly idiosyncratic fashion.