BCM241

From Snapchat to Snappy Cash

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According to ABS, in 2012–13, 83% of persons were internet users. Those persons in the 15 to 24 years age group had the highest proportion of internet users (at 97%). Of this group, 92% preferred social networking over any other activity or use for the internet.

When prompted to think about my own media and internet usage I thought about the social media applications I use on a daily basis, why I use them and how they have enhanced my life or provided me with opportunities outside of aimlessly scrolling to cure my boredom.

Brandtzaeg suggests that the most common reason people use social networking sites or applications is to get in contact with new people with 31% of participants identifying this as their main reason. The second most valued was to keep in touch with their friends (21%), whereas the third was general socializing (14%).These statistics assisted me in understanding my own incentives driving my use of social media.  Initially, I considered my motivations to be to keep in contact with friends and to share parts of my life with others. When I dug deeper into the reasons behind my internet use, I realised I had gained a lot from applications such as Facebook, Instagram and snapchat.

Often teenagers and those finding themselves a part of younger generations are frowned upon for their excessive use of internet and social media, but, in my opinion, those who are judging us are unaware of the benefits of making connections, through thorough use of media. Such tools allow individuals to build relationships with people through common interests and allow for increased confidence in social interaction. While social media is most commonly used for staying in touch with friends and family, making connections and sharing information, it can also be used to take advantage of opportunities presented, even if they are unexpected and perhaps hard to come by.

In January of this year, I was out of a job and desperately looking to find one. Watching peoples ‘stories’ on Snapchat, I came across one, posted by a girl I had no personal connection to, but happened to be connected to on snapchat. The post was an advertisement for a casual position at a café not too far from my house. The image was a screenshot taken from a Facebook status, shared by the owner of the café. From the snapchat story, I searched the name of the café on Facebook and found the post advertising the job. Included, was an email address to send my resume to. Upon sending my resume I received a reply back asking me to attend an interview and a trial and the rest is history. I have now been working at the café for 8 months and love it.

This particular experience, based purely off my use of social media, was one that was a completely unexpected opportunity. It came about, simply, through the connections I had formed with people on social networking applications. Connecting with seemingly random people allowed me to land a job that I have since come to enjoy. Thus, although my motivations as a social networking user are, often times, to simply cure my boredom, talk to my friends and socialise, I am always looking to take advantage of opportunities, that, in hindsight, wouldn’t be possible without the aimless scrolling and seemingly unwarranted use of social media.


References 

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016,Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2012-13, Viewed 13 August 2018, <http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/DE28AB7779067AACCA257C89000E3F98?opendocument&gt;

Brandtzaeg, P 2009, ‘Why People Use Social Networking Sites’ Online Communities and Social Computing, pp. 143-152

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BCM241

From Television to Any Vision: The Ancient Art of Streaming

In the first BCM241 tutorial of the semester, discussion revolved around television and memories. Common conversation was concerned with personal memories and experiences involving the viewing of television programs. A particular conversation I found myself immersed in was one that surrounded the lack of real time viewing of television programs in contemporary times, with streaming services allowing us to view programs at our own convenience, as opposed to sitting idly in-front of the TV awaiting the new episode of the most popular new show.

With the prolific popularity of streaming services such as Netflix, Stan and Hayu, the television experience has become much less communal in conjunction with becoming increasingly accessible, shifting the social sphere of viewing and flipping it on its head. Such services allow individuals to watch and rewatch television and movies at their own leisure, giving those who cannot view their favourite television program at a conventional time, the chance to enjoy TV, just as much as those who can.

fetch-Streaming-apps-1Despite my initial concurrence with the idea that program streaming is a new concept that has allowed for improved access to television, the more I pondered, the more I realised, watching television at a time after the program has aired and being able to watch a particular program, movie or episode over again, is not such a new advancement. This realisation brings me to share my earliest television memory.

In the year 2000, At the age of 3, I was a self-declared Brittany Spears fanatic. So, when the pop stars ‘You Drive me Crazy World Tour’ aired on television, and I was too young to stay up past my bedtime and watch it, naturally, I was devastated. My mother, being the woman, she is, recorded the entire concert on a VHS tape, and, from that point on, the concert was immortalised. I would watch Britney perform over and over, begging mum to rewind the tape so I could perfect the exact dance moves and outfit choices made by the pop star, I so desperately wanted to be.

This process of watching and rewatching reminded me a lot of how I watch television now. The same principles apply to watching Netflix, online, as they do to busting out an ancient VHS tape and recording, playing and rewinding. Both streaming processes allow the viewer to access media at any time, personalising and allowing for the individualisation of the television experience.

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Though, while I assert that these two concepts of streaming, both past and present, are quite similar in nature, I do agree that streaming, at the present time, reduces the need for pre-planning: you decide what you want to watch, and as long as you’re connected, you can do it right that second, even if the show you want to see aired last week. This flexibility increases convenience, allows for the infiltration of previously off-limits contexts, and removes the felt necessity to watch a certain program at a certain time in a certain place.Although the VHS tape allowed for the process of watching and rewatching at convenient times, it didn’t allow for the reduction of pre planning in order to record the desired program.

So, it is, that I argue, television streaming has always been around, not always in the form of specialised streaming services, like that of Netflix, but in more basic forms as purchasing a blank VHS tape, pressing record and reusing the tape to record over when you got sick of watching the Britney Spears concert. (That never happened).

Either way, streaming, via VHS or through new and improved technologies, has increased the scope of television, completely changing the dynamic. Gone are the days of predetermined viewing times and here are the days where it is perfectly acceptable to watch your favourite television series at 2am, chatting about it with friends, while trying to avoid sharing spoilers because you’ve watched more episodes than them.


References

Jones, E 2009, ‘Network Television Streaming Technologies and the Shifting Television Social Sphere’ Media in Transition 6: Stone and Papyrus, Storage and Transmission. Vol. 6 pp. 3-9

ELL230

Fashion plays an integral role in the formation and expression of individual identity

Discuss this statement with reference to examples

Fashion is a non-verbal style of identity expression. The way we dress allows us to transmit messages, regarding our affiliation with particular groups, through collectivism. Fashion also allows individuals to distinguish themselves from such groups, by engaging in individualistic behaviours. As we develop and mature we become associated with a number of different groups (Jackson 2014, p. 136). According to Jackson, there are over fifteen types of identities, inclusive of, personal, class, sexual, gender, cultural and religious identities. Fashion impacts on multiple facets of identification and assists in the formation of ones self, as a whole. Clothing and style can be affiliated with ones avowed identity, that is, the way, in which, we wish to portray ourselves to others. It can also have meaning ascribed to it, through judgments and stereotypes constructed by society. Essentially, fashion is a universally recognised, semiotic marker of identity that retains significant communicative functions.

Personal identity defines an individual in terms of his or her differences to others. (Liu 2011, p. 290-91) Avowal refers to the process of telling others what identity you wish to present and or, how you see yourself. (Oetzel 2009, p. 62) Expression through avenues inclusive of clothing, shoes, accessories, hair styles and body modifications can be a powerful tool, used to shape ones personality, therefore, linking fashion closely with personal identity. “You Are What You Wear: What Your Clothes Reveal About You” is a book, published in 2012, written by clinical psychologist Dr Jennifer Baumgartner, that explores the “psychology of dress.” Within the discourse, Baumgartner discusses a study conducted in at North-western University that examined a concept called “enclothed cognition.” Researchers define the term as “the systematic influence that clothes have on the wearer’s psychological processes,” meaning what your clothes are saying to you, rather than about you. (Forbes Magazine 2012) During the experiment, researchers distributed standard white lab coats to a number of participants, telling some that it was a doctor’s coat and some that it was a painter’s smock. All participants performed the same task. Findings showed that participants who wore the “doctor’s coat” were more careful and attentive; in essence, their actions were influenced by their clothing. (Forbes Magazine 2012)  The symbolic meaning participants ascribed to their clothing was, therefore, influential. They let their clothes dictate their actions and behaviours, thus, impacting upon their personality, making evident fashion’s communicative function, as a semiotic marker of personal identity.

Class identity, according to Martin and Nakayama, refers to ‘a sense of belonging to a group that shares similar economic, occupational or social status’. Fashion has long been engrained in the distinction of social class. This becomes evident through the examination of fashion trends and allocation during the Eighteenth Century French Revolution as compared to class division in the Twenty First Century. Categorisation and separation of social classes was based solely on attire, as dress was a prominent indicator of social class during the time of the French Revolution. Society was divided into the Three Estates of the Realm. The First Estate consisted of clergymen, the second, of French nobility and royalty and the third, of the working class (Bourgeoisie) and peasantry. In relation to women’s fashions, in particular, the First Estate wore simple elegant dresses made of silk with white gloves, glamorous jewelry and wigs. The Second Estate wore elaborate dresses made of silk with satin heels and extravagant jewellery. The Third Estate wore plain, unimpressive dresses made of simple fabrics, for they lacked funds to purchase expensive materials. Today, social class is still defined by access to fashion trends.  Through the examination of modern fashion magazines inclusive of Vogue, Marie Claire and Harpers Bazaar, we uncover stark class division.  Targeted marketing, quality, branding, and exclusivity create a significant divide between classes, as high-end and popular fashion magazines target audiences with disposable incomes as opposed to individuals on a tight budget, due to ascribed difference in behaviours and spending habits of consumers, based on socially established stereotypes of class. In regards to being a symbolic indicator of class, it is clear that fashion has been a significant marker of class identity that has transcended time. This makes apparent, the universality of fashion as a communicative device that assists in the construction of identity.

A person may express their sexuality in a multitude of ways. Fashion is, but one, avenue through which, an individual can communicate their sexuality to others. A study conducted in Manchester, United Kingdom in 2005, explored the importance of fashion and clothing for homosexual males as ‘semiotic markers for identity creation and communication’ (Schofield 2005). Through the conduction of participant observation, interviews and a focus group, researchers found that the communication of individual identity through clothes provided a marker for “gayness” which allowed homosexual men to indicate tribal allegiance to a particular group or subculture. Researchers also concluded that clothing facilitated acceptance and integration into group situations. “The proactive use of clothing as a semiotic marker enables the fluid construction and linking of multiple identities.” (Schofield 2005) In this case, evidence suggests that fashion is, indeed, universally recognised as a semiotic marker of identity that retains significant communicative functions.

Drag queens present a challenge to the norms of gender identity in relation to fashion. Individuals who participate in drag deflect heteronormative standards in the fashion industry and allow for self-expression of a heightened caliber. Participation in drag allows men to challenge gender identity norms with the application of dramatic makeup and the wearing of sensational clothing. RuPaul’s Drag Race is an American reality television series that documents the search for ‘America’s next drag superstar.’ The televised competition has provided opportunity for it’s contestants to make ground breaking progress within the fashion industry. Drag queens from the show have featured in fashion campaigns by the likes of Marc Jacobs, Harper’s Bazaar and Interview Magazine, paving the way for further acceptance of drag, and protesting gender norms, as constructed by contemporary society. Along with the acceptance of drag comes the acceptance of gender fluidity and androgyny as a part of an individual’s identity. In 2015, Marcia Alvarado walked the runway at New York Fashion Week, sporting menswear despite being a female. Alvarado is signed with an agency as a male model, her masculine qualities aligning her with that of a man. Alvarado’s success is a sign of the ever-growing LGBTQI inclusiveness within fashion and advertising, with gender-neutral clothing gaining prominence globally. Thus, fashion is an exemplary communicative tool that can assist in the acceptance of varied gender identities.

Cultural and religious identities are two facets that become intertwined when considering how fashion can be associated with the expression of both culture and religion. Membership of a particular cultural or religious group can be indicated by specific types of dress. The traditional attire of Indians practicing Sikhism dates back centuries. The Sikh code of conduct specifies the wearing of kachhera and a turban for all Sikh males, giving Sikh females the option of wearing a headscarf tocover their hair. (ThoughtCo 2018) Similar options are available for practicing Muslim women. The Hijab is the most common type of headscarf worn. It is a headscarf that covers the head and neck, but leaves the face clear. The niqab is a combination of a head covering and scarf that covers all of a woman’s face except for her eyes. The burqa covers the whole body from the top of the head to the ground. It is the most concealing of all Islamic veils, covering the entire face, including the eyes. (Vice 2016) Such garments are worn to indicate religious affiliation and as a symbol of modesty and privacy. Together with customs, practices and ceremonies, cultural and religious dress is foremost in the expression and celebration of collective culture, religion and worship. Consequently, fashion and clothing can be symbolic of both individual and collective identity, thus, retaining exceptional communicative functions.

Personality, class, sexuality, gender, culture and religion assist us in forming our own identity and sense of self. Furthermore, fashion, in association with such traits, enhances individual and collective identity through means of self-expression. Our fashion choices and the statements we choose to make, through the clothes we wear, are, often times, indicative of the ways, in which, we wish to portray ourselves to the surrounding world. Our avowed identity is multifaceted, and fashion, being a form of expression, is an essential part of the process of self-awareness and identity creation. Hereby, it is discernible, that fashion is a universally recognised, semiotic marker of identity that retains significant communicative functions.

References

Books

Barnard, M 2010, ‘Communication and Culture’ Fashion Statements: On Style, Appearance and Reality, pp.23 – 34

Crane, D 2000, ‘Fashion identity and social change’ Fashion and its social agendas: Class, Gender and Identity in Clothing, The university of Chicago Press, United States of America, pp.1 – 6

Davis, F 1994, Fashion, Culture and Identity, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Jackson, J 2014, Introducing Language and Intercultural Communication, Routledge, New York.

Tarlo, E 2013, Islamic Fashion and Anti-Fashion: New Perspectives from Europe and North America, Bloomsbury, London.

Journals

Adam, H 2012, ‘Enclothed cognition’ Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Vol. 48, No. 4, pp.918 – 925

Schofield, K 2005, ‘Fashion and clothing: the construction and communication of gay identities’ International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, Vol. 33, No. 4, pp.310-323

Websites

Androgynous models are the new stars of New York Fashion Week, 2015, The Daily Dot, Viewed Monday 14th May 2018, <https://www.dailydot.com/irl/nyfw-marcia-alvarado-model/&gt;

Fashion and RuPaul’s Drag Race, 2017, The First Proof, Viewed Monday 14th May 2018, < http://www.thefirstproof.com/conversations/fashion-rupauls-drag-race.html&gt;

 How fashion shapes identity: What do your clothes say about you?, 2016, Ecosalon, Viewed Saturday 12th May 2018, < http://ecosalon.com/how-fashion-shapes-identity-what-do-your-clothes-say-about-you/&gt;

How the hijab went from religious garment to identity marker, 2016, Vice, Viewed Saturday 12th May 2018, < https://i-d.vice.com/en_au/article/papwxy/how-the-hijab-went-from-religious-garment-to-identity-marker&gt;

Introduction to the Traditional Dress of Sikhs, 2018, ThoughtCo, Viewed Sunday 13th May 2018, < https://www.thoughtco.com/traditional-dress-of-sikhs-2993014&gt;

Out of the Closet: Fashion’s Influence on Gender and Sexuality, 2011, Serendip Studio, Viewed Sunday 13th May 2018, <http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/kim-k/out-closet-fashions-influence-gender-and-sexuality&gt;

What your clothes say about you, 2012, Forbes, Viewed Sunday 13th May 2018, < https://www.forbes.com/sites/learnvest/2012/04/03/what-your-clothes-say-about-you/#3e1824a36699&gt;

BCM241

Instappable: The Collaboration Station

Having been an avid Instagram user for a few years now, I remember the days before social media influencers were set for world domination. Now, as I scroll through Instagram of a night time, just before I fall asleep, my feed, stories and dreams are filled with collaborations between brands and influencers promoting clothing, accessories, beauty products and every material object known to man kind.

Shani Grimmond and Lily Brown promote clothing brand Beginning Boutique along with Michael Finch who also promotes tanning solution Bondi Sands. Meanwhile Tammy Hembrow promotes womens sports nutrition brand Women’s Best, photographed holding the product whilst wearing, and, thus, promoting her own activewear label, ‘Saski Collection’. Such collaborations are often times visibly labeled with the caption ‘paid partnership’, confirming that these influencers are, in fact, receiving funds for the  advertisement of these products, but, this is not always the case.

Recently, I have become increasingly interested in fashion, photography and videography and have begun to take what I post on Instagram, amongst other social media applications, a lot more seriously. As such, I noticed when I became a more prominent figure on Instagram and my online presence began to grow, like the social media influencers I follow, I too, began to receive DM’s (Direct Messages) from brands, asking me to collaborate with them.

After the initially feeling ‘oh so famous’, I quickly began to notice each brand that had reached out to me was merely offering a discount on their products, rather than a traditional collaboration, involving an exchange of goods for services. While these brands offer potential increased exposure, inclusive of gaining followers and likes, this is likely never achieved by anyone who agrees to such collaborations, as in reality, these brands are asking you to spend money on their products as well as asking you to give THEM exposure by tagging the brand in your posts allowing your followers, usually in excess of 1000 people, to become familiar with the brand.

These misleading messages make instagram users, like myself, believe that in order to gain exposure, they must collaborate with brands with a larger following than themselves. In my opinion, Instagram has become a breeding ground for con artistry. No longer is the application about self-expression, through means of the uploading of images, it is about gaining popularity, presenting false, unrealistic images of ones life to an audience, and instagram has also turned in to a collaboration station, minus the actual collaboration.

Will this stop me from continuing to use the application, taking photos specifically to post on there? Honestly, probably not.

 

BCM212

BCM212 – Research Project Reflection

Through the research project I have completed in BCM212 I have come to understand how the process of collecting data enables you draw relevant and interesting conclusions from your findings that can result in reformative action being taken.

The results of my research and the data I collected revolved that at the University of Wollongong, if it weren’t for the lack of awareness surrounding the benefits of on-campus employment, as a result of ineffective dissemination of information regarding job opportunities, university students would be more likely to select on-campus employment rather than off-campus employment. The findings also showed that pay rates, relevance to a particular degree and location were the leading factors that further influenced student’s decisions.

Through the research process I learnt that drawing on personal experiences as data can be just as useful as conducting a survey and or an interview and provides data that is equally as useful, relevant and helpful in gaining conclusive points from raw data.

In relation to research generally, I learnt, through the BCM212 research project, that research is an elongated and step-by-step process that requires a lot of effort and consideration. Research requires thorough planning and organisation for successful execution and to be able to gain information that is interesting to a public audience.

Through completing the project, I also became aware of the importance of produce consent forms so that participants are aware of how their data is being used and what they are participating in. I was also made aware of the importance of participant anonymity and confidentiality.

Overall, I thought the project was helpful in enhancing my understanding of the research project and the work that is required to conduct a successful research project.

BCM212

UPDATE: BCM212 Research Project

updateIt is now week 8 and i have commenced the primary research portion of my project for BCM212.

I have created a survey, which still needs to be refined, which i plan to disseminate across my social media platforms inclusive of twitter and facebook.

Together with my survey, I have also begun to analyse stats and data in relation to on campus employment as opposed to off-campus employment, which is proving to be an interesting source of information.

I still need to finalise interviews with my work colleagues at my on-campus job In2Uni. This is proving difficult as everyone has different schedules and it is hard to find time to meet with my colleagues to get their opinions on and experiences with on-campus employment.

I hope to continue travelling at this pace as I believe I am on track to complete the task in ample time.

BCM212

BCM212 – Research Proposal: On-campus vs Off-campus Employment

Were-Hiring

When encouraged to ponder the student experience, many would appraise the typical undesirable aspects first. Popular themes that come to mind are; student debt, time management, stress, and wellbeing. Despite the innumerable adverse experiences of a young university student, I have decided to base my BCM212 research project on one of the most fulfilling and rewarding opportunities I have been involved in, as a result of my time spent studying at the University of Wollongong.

My intended goal for this research project is to understand, why it is, that there is so little interest in on-campus jobs, that are specifically tailored for university students that, often times, allow them to finish their degree with extra accreditations. Thus, the question guiding my research is ‘Are university students more likely to seek employment off campus, as opposed to involving themselves in on-campus work opportunities, and, if so, what are the leading factors enforcing this decision?’

I am employed on a casual basis, as an In2Uni Mentor for the Outreach and Pathways faculty of the University of Wollongong. While this is not my only form of employment, this job is extremely rewarding and has allowed me to gain an immense amount of confidence, as well as the acquisition of a Working with Children Certificate, which, has further assisted me in other job prospects outside of In2Uni.

During my time as a mentor, I have been questioned, as to what it is I do, how I went about securing my job, if other on-campus jobs exist, and, if so, how to gain access to these kinds of employment. These questions have promoted me to research the lack of awareness, and therefore, lack of interest in on-campus jobs, and the reasons for this. I believe it is due to the lack of advertising, promotion and exposure that these jobs receive and the sporadic nature of shift work associated with such jobs, together with a general lack of knowledge surrounding the availability of on-campus, university based jobs.

In developing my topic, I have conducted some background research and have located a number of secondary sources that I think will be of assistance to the conclusions that I wish to attain through my research.

A study conducted by the University of Canterbury, in Christchurch, New Zealand, aimed to explore the impact of paid employment on students study time and other aspects of their lives.  The findings showed that 81 percent of the students held at least one job during university, for an average of 14 hours per week. Working left less time than desired for social activities, study and recreation. It is my goal to depict how employment in on-campus jobs, can decrease the lack of time students have to participate in desired activities, if their job and university coincide with one another.

Another study conducted in 2009, aimed to examine the relationships among first-year students’ employment, engagement, and academic achievement, using data from the 2004 National Survey of Student Engagement. A statistically significant negative relationship was found between working more than 20 hours per week and grades. An examination of the indirect relationships between work and grades revealed that working 20 hours or less on campus was significantly and positively related to grades.

I hope that these studies will assist me in my own research and will back up my ideas that although university students are vastly unaware of the benefits of on-campus employment positions, on-campus jobs can be superior in terms of ongoing opportunities as compared to that of off campus employment.

I believe this topic to be both timely and appropriate, as work/life/uni balance is something that the majority of university students strive toward maintaining. Therefore, this subject is timely and requires attention.

The issue surrounding on-campus jobs, as opposed to balancing university with regular off-campus work, is one that can be considered relevant to all university students who find it difficult to balance university work and assessment schedules with casual or part time work. The topic is relevant to me personally as I am employed in both an on-campus job and two other off-campus jobs, so I am able to compare the two with personal insight and experience.

I believe this project will be achievable, as I have the means to secure all relevant information in the time frame allowed. As I work for an on-campus organisation, this provides me with access to other people who work for the same organisation or similar, providing an easy opportunity to conduct research in the form of interviews and surveys with my fellow colleagues, who are also students at the University of Wollongong. I plan to survey fellow students that study BCM212, making the project achievable, as my fellow students are easily accessible for such research methods, both in class, on campus, and via social media such as Twitter and WordPress.


 References

  • Robert, J. 2005, ‘The effect of paid employment on university students’ lives, Education + Training’ Vol.47 No. 3, pp. 202-215
  • Pike, G. 2009, ‘First-Year Students’ Employment, Engagement, and Academic Achievement: Untangling the Relationship between Work and Grades’NASPA Journal,45 No. 4, pp. 560-582