Oh you do martial arts? You must be Asian then


Racial stereotyping has been an on going theme. It involves the mental images that society holds about other cultures and one’s own culture. Stereotyping creates barriers for cultures and allows them to be only seen in one light. As our assumption towards other cultures are so rigid ‘we tend to ignore or discard any information that is not consistent with the stereotype’ and this is further emphasised within Hollywood films (University counselling centre, 2008).

In the YouTube clip when looking at the Neimoidians from Star Wars the comment made; “what else do they look like? The slanted eyes and imperial hats… I’m surprised they didn’t have them eating dogs” emphasises the stereotyping of Asian cultures within Hollywood films.

Why is it only those of oriental appearance can do martial arts?

We draw these automatic assumptions because of how certain minorities are represented in the media. As mentioned before in Hollywood movies, the characters that showcase martial art skills or ‘mathematical brilliance’ are usually of Asian appearance. However they are not the only ones being stereotypically represented. In movies when a character is classified as a ‘gangster’ they are usually ‘black’ or those from a African American background are assumed that their characters like rap music, are part of a gang or have to represent a ‘bad-ass’ look. This automatic assumption is demonstrated in the movie ‘Get Hard’ where Will Ferrell’s character assumes that Kevin Hart’s character can help him prepare for jail because after all he is ‘black’. This is also pointed out in ‘The Traditional Feminist;

“Let’s also not try to “decriminalize being black” by “criminalizing being white.” In other words, it’s disgusting that our nation prejudges black and Latino people as criminals and essentially sends them from high school to prison, but starting a rumour that all white people are racist, manipulative, and materialistic doesn’t help either. I’m always baffled when my students ask me, a white person, if I drive a Mercedes or have ever experienced pain in my life. It’s absurd how we all fall victim to stereotypes and stereotyping” (The Traditional Feminist, 2015).


Categorising races into various stereotypes just continues to influence the gap between cultures. We must acknowledge that yes, cultures do have different values and beliefs from other cultures, but we should not just subject these values to only those who are originally from that culture. The whole point of multiculturalism is to accept and understand various cultures and not believe that your culture is superior to another.


University counselling centre, 2008, Overcoming stereotypes, University of Notre Dame, viewed on 6 May 2015, http://ucc.nd.edu/self-help/multicultural-awareness/overcoming-stereotypes/

The Traditional Feminist, 2015, “Get Hard” perpetuates the stereotypes rather than deconstructs them, viewed on 6 May 2015, http://www.chicagonow.com/traditional-feminist/2015/03/get-hard-perpetuates-the-stereotypes-rather-than-deconstructs-them/


Out with the old, In with the new (burning copper)

Our world is continuously developing and growing, along with this so does our technology. Now days ‘out with the old, in with the new’ is a common reoccurrence within technology, and the consequences that follow this is what we call, E-waste.
“20–50 million tons of e-Waste are generated worldwide every year. Large amounts of e-Waste are sent to China, India and Kenya where lower environmental standards and working conditions make processing e-Waste more profitable” (Causes International Inc. 2014).

With our environment already being subject to climate change and air pollution, e-waste is only contributing more to these issues and unless large companies start producing and creating awareness for ‘greener media’ ways, changes will be slow to come.

So who exactly is being affected by this?
China, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, and the Philippines can receive up to 50 to 80 percent of e-waste (McAllister, 2015). Dumping also occurs in Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe.

Not only is the environment being affected by these chemical wastes but these communities are also exposed to health problems from the fumes that are released into the air. Children are especially vulnerable to this exposure as they are still growing. These fumes have great impact on their health including stunting their growth. These health risks that are occurring from the e-waste are a result from the chemicals/materials that are present in the technological waste. These materials are; copper, lead, cadmium, chromium and brominated retardants. The inhalation of these fumes result in headaches, cancer and can even affect unborn children, sometimes resulting in still births (Grant, Goldizen, Brune, Neira, Van Den Berg & et al. 2013).


So what exactly can we do about this?
Large companies such as apple need to rethink what impact their products are having on the environment. Apple has a new version of their IPhone basically every year and along with that are their new chargers, new headphone sets and IPad’s. With the continuous growth of products there needs to be new and creative ways of discarding our technological appliances instead of just dumping them and hoping someone else will sort out their mess.

The ‘Indian journal of occupational and environmental medicine’ listed some recommendations for actions. It is mentioned that the main solution for the e-waste situation lies with the idea of prevention starting at the manufacturing source or the ‘precautionary principle’ (Pinto, 2008).This looks at the idea of developing waste minimisation techniques and designing sustainable, lasting products.
Some of the points listed for waste minimisation include adopting:

  • Inventory management
  • Production process modification
  • Volume reduction
  • Recovery and reuse
  • Sustainable product design involves:
  • Rethinking on procedures of designing the product (flat computers)
  • Use of renewable material and energy
  • Creating electronic components and peripherals of biodegradable material
  • Looking at a green packaging option
  • Utilizing a minimum packaging material (Pinto, 2008)


Causes International Inc. 2014, E-waste Facts, viewed 28 April 2015 https://www.causesinternational.com/ewaste/what-is-ewaste

McAllister, L. 2015, The Human and Environmental Effects of E-waste, Population Reference Bureau, viewed 28 April 2015 http://www.prb.org/Publications/Articles/2013/e-waste.aspx

Grant, K, Goldizen, F, Brune, M-N, Neira, M, Van Den Berg, M & et al. 2013, Health Consequences of exposure to e-waste: a systematic review, vol, 1, no.6. viewed 28 April 2015 http://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(13)70101-3/abstract

Pinto, V. N. (2008). E-waste hazard: The impending challenge. Indian Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine12(2), 65–70, viewed 28 April 2015, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2796756/

Why must we watch the suffering?


The representation of human suffering in the media sparks various reactions. These reactions can range from sympathy to anger. It seems human suffering can be witnessed in almost all forms of media these days. So we come to the question where do we draw the line when showcasing human suffering?

Distant suffering in the media’ focuses on the three questions that human suffering inevitably raises when presented through public communication. What to do, how we relate to others and who it is important to care for. So is the use of showing human suffering in the media to influence us to take action?

Researching this topic I stumbled across the term ‘social suffering’. I thought this was actually a good way to look at human suffering in the media. As a society we are so connected to one another through our media forums. By showing human suffering on TV or through pictures on social media or in art galleries does change the idea of human suffering to ‘social suffering’. When you watch an advertisement on TV about young underprivileged children in Africa you feel that pang of sympathy or guilt. As a society we then feel it is our duty to relieve those from the situation where they are experiencing suffering.

“It reminds us that emotion is a scarce resource and that part of the capacity of news to present the world to us is its capacity to reserve the potential for emotion for some sufferers; to locate others outside our own community of belonging and to place their suffering beyond the remit of our action” (Chouliaraki, 2008).

When any human suffering is presented in the media it provokes controversy. Those that feel it is vital to emphasise a point and those that feel such images or videos should not be shown. I still have not fully reached a decision on where I stand, however I can see points for both sides.


One thing I do understand when presented with an image or video of human suffering one cannot ignore it.
“This is, I argue, an ambiguous and controversial kind of power, for at least one important reason: it is positive power because it brings us closer to human pain and confronts us with the responsibility of ‘what to do’ to improve the life of vulnerable others” (Chouliaraki, 2008).


Chouliaraki, L. 2008,  Distant suffering in the media, viewed 21 April 2015 http://www.lse.ac.uk/media@lse/study/pdf/ChouliarakiLSEPublicLectureDistantSuffering.pdf



Okay so I will admit I have taken a selfie before (more than once). I remember the first selfie I uploaded on Instagram I was actually really nervous, I felt kind of embarrassed and a little stupid too. So if I felt like this when I uploaded it, why did I do it? I guess you can say everyone else had done it so I thought hey maybe I should jump on the selfie bandwagon.

Nowadays selfies are as common as brushing your teeth in the morning (I have actually seen a selfie of someone brushing their teeth). So we understand a selfie is a generated self-portrait. Does it make us vain for taking a photo? Self-obsessed?


Image Two

The craze of the selfie brings along other aspects with it such as; selfie trends (the no-make up selfie), selfie sticks and travelling selfies.
It seems travelling selfies have become such a large part of the tourist behaviour. Whilst I was overseas I barely took any seflies when travelling (mostly because my arms are too short so I can never fit much of the background in). This then brings me to the topic discussed in class about selfies being taken in inappropriate places like the infamous ‘smiling Auschwitz selfie’ by Breanna Mitchell, I thought back to my travels in America.

My friend and I visited the 9/11 memorial. The way we behaved at this site was very different to when we visited the Statue of Liberty. I took two photos of the site whilst turning to my friend I asked ‘Do you think it is strange to take a photo of a site where tragedy occurred?’
I guess I never really thought too much into my question. What I did notice while I was there were people standing in front of the site in groups or couples smiling or individuals taking selfies in front of the site. I personally would not do that as I feel it is not right. I am not just pointing out taking a selfie but also the fact everyone in their photos were smiling (what is there to smile about?).

So maybe we should not look at the idea of selfies being self-obsessed but maybe the idea that sometimes maybe a selfie is not the answer.


Image two- http://izzigadgets.com/blog/the-ultimate-guide-to-the-dos-and-donts-of-selfies/


Kebab anyone?


Our American friends were big fans of the Kebabs


My first night out in Wollongong with University students I discovered my love for the 1am kebab. All started back at my time on Campus East when I went out on a Wednesday night and tried my first kebab from ‘Fat Boys’. From then on it has become a ritual for my friends and I to grab ourselves a snack after a night of dancing on the sticky, crowded dance floor.

If there is one thing I have learnt from University life is every now and then people enjoy a nice drunken snack and what better way to do it then with a nice chicken kebab.


Good Old Team Spirit

We were the winners for B grade last session

We were the winners for B grade last session

Just a few of the activities the University supply include their competitive sports. It was in my first year in second session that I started to participate in more activities at University, this included my friends and I putting a team together for the Tuesday night Netball games. The one thing that stands out at Uni is the amount of team sports and sportsmanship.

Meeting new people and just getting involved in activities at University is definitely a must try, plus you never know you might discover a love for a certain sport and make great memories along the way.





Chelsea Thomson

(Bachelor in Media and Communication, Major in Marketing)

Chelsea Thomson, 20yrs

Chelsea Thomson, 20yrs

“So in 2014 in January I travelled to Cambodia for a month.”

“I was assisting with a Christian organisation that my dad is a part of. We built houses for villages and the program went for two weeks”

After her volunteering Chelsea travelled through Cambodia visiting temples and sightseeing. This whole experienced opened up her eyes culturally. When asked would she travel or visit Cambodia again, there was no hesitation to her answer. Chelsea has caught the same travel bug that everyone else obtains when travelling.