Digital fitness: Self-monitored fitness and the commodification of movement
This article moves beyond a history of domestic home video fitness programs to explore digital fitness with specific attention to the self-monitored fitness ‘movement’ and the hardware and software that facilitate its proliferation. The research in this area is currently conducted through preliminary small scale studies, alongside some flawed but still (inadvertently) useful undergraduate and graduate projects. Popular cultural interest is burgeoning, with the popularity of the Fitbit suite and the iWatch surging through an array of commentaries on blogs, YouTube videos, tweets and Facebook posts. This theoretical paper links digitisation with fitness to explore the balance between self-monitoring and surveillance, motivation and shaming. The Fitbit is an example of this self-monitored fitness ‘movement’ that reveals the ambivalence of quantifying steps and stairs while managing a volatile neoliberal working environment.
Chinese creative industries, soft power and censorship: The case of animation
Xu, Xiaying (Richard) and Tony Schirato
The interrelatedness of Chinese economic and cultural reforms since the beginning of the new millennium, most particularly and importantly with regard to the acceptance and deployment of the concept of creative industries as an extension of China’s ‘soft power’, needs to be considered in light of two factors: firstly, and at a conceptual level, it derived from the development of the highly influential notion of the ‘creative industries’ in the UK; and secondly, it was linked to what we could term the ‘cultural politics’ of China’s relations with neighboring cultural powers such as Japan and South Korea (and to a certain extent and more broadly, with the United States). In 2005, the creative industries concept was embraced by Beijing, but with a caveat: it opted to use the hybrid term ‘cultural creative industries’ in the official document, due to the sensitivity of the term ‘creative’ (Keane 2007). One part of the field of cultural production that was strongly impacted by these developments was the animation sector. This article will provide an account of the various political, economic and cultural contexts that drove and informed these changes and how they have played out within the contemporary Chinese animation industry.
Representations of the ‘region’ in Australian radio research and policy
This paper reviews the relationship between regional Australia, its audiences, and radio research in the 20th and 21st centuries by examining the methods by which regional Australia has been incorporated and acknowledged within radio histories, surveys, and research into broadcasting policy. This paper argues that this research has embraced a wider discourse and narrative focused on ‘saving’ the regions—a sentiment that has been the overwhelming narrative in Australia’s social and economic history. It concludes that regional Australia needs to be better understood and integrated into research that has implications for broadcasting policy development.
Remediating modernity: Youth, role models and behaviour change in ‘new Nepal’
Natalie Greenland and Andrew Skuse
Communication for development (C4D) theorising, program design and practice, to a significant extent, remain driven by notions that communication inspires liberal-minded role models or ‘change agents’ operating at the local level. These individuals are typically described in terms of their willingness to pursue social change. In looking at the links between national pro-social change broadcasting and local practices of remediation and interpretation, this paper assesses the work of a large international NGO working to promote life skills, health awareness and civic responsibility amongst young people in Nepal. Such work charges young people to be agents of their own social change through the development of localised C4D initiatives that link with national media outputs and agendas. Inevitably, there is a degree of slippage in both meaning and message as local remediation of broader development issues occurs. Analysis reveals remediation of such issues to be a tangled practice in which key messages are reworked, made more conservative, and localised or mis-communicated.
‘Strange times’: Anti-elite discourse, the Bicentenary, and the IPA Review’
Mark Davis and Nick Sharman
In this paper we investigate anti-elite discourse in the leading Australian conservative journal the Institute of Public Affairs Review (IPA Review) in the context of Australia’s Bicentenary celebrations of 1988. To do this we undertook qualitative content analysis of all issues of the IPA Review from 1984 to 1989: the five-year lead up to Australia’s celebrations in 1988, and the year after. Our argument is that while much of the scholarship on anti-elite discourse in Australia focuses quite properly on the period after the election of the Liberal Party in 1996, led by unapologetic conservative John Howard, and the rise of far right populist anti-indigenous and anti-multiculturalist politician Pauline Hanson in the same period, the lead up to the Bicentenary represented a particularly rich, formative period for anti-elite discourse, when many of the concepts, themes and terms central to later debate and current political discourse were tested and refined.