Volume 49 (2016) Issue 1
Editorial: The struggle for meaning: Geriatric budgie smuggling and the politics of the everyday.
Narratives of cultural and professional redundancy: Ageing action stardom and the ‘geri-action’ film
Glen Donnar (RMIT University)
Focusing on The Expendables films, I identify the importance of discourses of professional and cultural redundancy in ‘geri-action’, an emergent subgenre of Hollywood action film that has revitalised the careers of ageing action stars such as Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. These redundancies, which hold long-standing significance in 1980s action film, are compounded in geri-action by advanced age and diminished physical capacity. In geri-action, the spectacle of once idealised, muscled bodies is concealed and displaced onto oversized guns, fetishised vehicles and younger action bodies. However much geri-action resists 1980s action stars’ use-by dates, it ultimately admits physical and generic exhaustion.
The making of a captain: The production and projection of a political image on the Tony Abbott Facebook page
Edward Hurcombe (Queensland University of Technology)
Literature on politicians’ use of social media tends to concentrate on election campaigns rather than on their everyday use. In examining the construction of ‘Facebook Tony Abbott’ (an Australian conservative federal politician and ex-Prime Minister), this paper examines how his image uploads, with five main themes: military, heterosexual family, statesmanship, athleticism and activeness, assembled a broader political persona. These images serve to promote such mythic campaign image categories as the Ideal Leader and Popular Candidate, revealing the page’s permanent political campaign focus. Thus any insight the page could provide into the everyday political life of Tony Abbott was severely limited.
Analysing everyday online political talk in China: Theoretical and methodological reflections
Scott Wright (University of Melbourne)
Todd Graham (University of Groningen)
Yu Sun (University of Groningen)
Wilfred Yang Wang (Queensland University of Technology)
Xiantian Luo (University of Melbourne)
Andrea Carson (University of Melbourne)
This article explores the theoretical and methodological challenges of collecting and analysing everyday online political talk in China, and outlines our approach to defining and coding such talk. In so doing, the article is designed to encourage further research in this area, taking forward a new agenda for online deliberation (Wright, 2012a), and supporting this important area of research.
New visions and vintage values: Shifting discourses of Australian national identity in 21st century prime ministerial rhetoric
Brooke Gizzi-Stewart (University of Newcastle)
This article examines the relationship between prime ministerial rhetoric and the framing of national identity in contemporary election campaign speeches. Through a hybrid quantitative and qualitative textual analysis, it finds the dominant narrative of Australian national identity in the 2001 prime minister’s campaign launch speech was defined by themes of endurance and stoicism. In 2007, and then in 2013, the narrative conveyed a more optimistic image of the nation, despite increasing global complexities. As such, the analysis reveals distinctive elements in the three speech acts which account for shifting ways of speaking of the nation and invoking nationhood in 21st century.
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Defaced election posters: Between culture jamming and moral outrage. A case study
Axel Philipps (Leibniz University of Hannover)
Hagen Schölzel (University of Erfurt)
Ralph Richter (Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space)
Election campaigners draw upon posters to represent political parties and candidates in the streets. To date, scholars have largely focused on the strategies of campaigners. This paper initially explores the ways and means of defacement by studying modified election posters in the city of Leipzig in the weeks preceding the 2013 German federal election. The results show that a large number of observed modifications are simple and obvious, while only some defacements show subtle forms of political communication. It is argued, therefore, that defacements as alternative means of political communication are of limited significance in a rather pluralistic society.
Generation less: How Australia is cheating the young, by Jennifer Rayner (2016)
Reviewed by James Frost
From Jesus to the internet: a history of Christianity and media, by Peter Horsfield (2015)
Reviewed by Tony Walter