The Globalisation of Sport

Globalisation is the underlying factor on which our modern society is built, increasing worldwide technological, cultural, political and economical diversity. Numerous examples of globalisation could be examined, however one cultural aspect of globalisation personally stands out above the rest, sport.

Globalisation is particularly prominent in the sporting industry, where sports typical or stereotyped to a particular culture have expanded to different cultures in various parts of the world. This global transformation of sporting culture into a multifaceted industry has had both positive and negative ramifications for certain groups. “Media and Society, Globalisation” and “Globalisation of Sport: An inconvenient truth” provide further evidence and insight into this interesting and large-scale issue.

Certainly, there are many aspects to this improved recognition of sport around the world. Globalisation has encouraged many smaller, underdeveloped countries to improve their reputation and to compete in many once unfamiliar sports on the world stage. This multinational participation in sport has the potential to break down barriers between countries and cultures and to overcome climatic and stereotyping issues. Large sporting events like the Olympics and World Cups (for a variety of sports) “…offer a platform to all nations, and most of all to small nations of the world, that is unrivalled by any other cultural or political body, even the United Nations” (Tomlinson and Young, 2006). An example epitomising this statement is the miraculous qualification of Jamaica, a country experiencing minimal/no snow or ice, in the ‘bobsled’ event at the 1988 Winter Olympic Games.

Juxtaposingly, many negative issues associated with the globalisation of sport have been recognised, a huge concern being inequality in the levels and standards of competitiveness throughout many sports. Indeed, some countries will always be more proficient in particular sports than others due to an increased amount of financial support from wealthy corporations and governments. Sport participants in underprivileged countries, contrastingly, often lack access to the facilities, equipment, or coaching expertise to foster continual positive development due to minimal financial support from those same wealthy corporations and governments. O’Shaughnessy and Stadler elude to this, stating; “Corporate convergence is a growing trend in which mergers and conglomerates concentrate ownership and control….potentially reducing the range of voices and views disseminated.” Thibault gives one example of a baseball player from “very poor circumstances in the Dominican Republic” that was bought for $2000, whereas a white American teammate received a $1.2 million signing bonus. This surely decreases talent in the respective countries, while big corporations profit heavily.

In summation, in this ethnically diverse, interdisciplinary and extremely competitive globe of sport, this “integration of facets of life from different cultures into comprehensive proclivities” has had numerous positive effects. In saying this, it is evident that over-commercialisation, rapid expansion, national dominance and unrelenting pursuits for success or profits can taint the positive effects of sporting globalisation.

References:

Tomlinson, A., & Young, C. (2006). Culture, politics, and spectacle in the global sports events. An introduction. In A. Tomlinson & C. Young (Eds.), National identity and global sports events (pp. 1–14). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Thibault, L, 2009, “Globalisation of Sport: An Inconvenient Truth”, Journal of Sports Management 2009

O’ Shaughnessy, M, Stadler, J, *Year Unknown*, “Media and Society, Globalisation”,

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A Current Affair wouldn’t lie, would they?

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Media texts are a pivotal part of our society. They provide insight and discussion into current issues that dramatically influence the way we perceive them. These arguments, however, are not always independent and the ideologies are usually based on the views of the hierarchy of the company or corporation. In the case of ‘A Current Affair’ (or ACA for short), they are always portraying people differently in a way that helps shape the feeling of the article, whether that feeling is subjective or objective.

With the versatility of modern media, it is easy to falsely portray someone. Voice recordings can be altered, facial expressions can be closely scrutinised and body language can be effortlessly analysed. Put all these neutral elements of communication into a computer, and with a few hours of editing, you can shape that particular person to be in either a positive or negative light. This is a standard feature of ‘A Current Affair’ as many of their articles are obviously negative or slant towards a negative theme.

 

‘A Current Affair’s’ articles are one- sided; they only show one portrayal of the story. They always seem to interview people, who don’t want to respond back, or people who don’t necessarily appear educated enough to reply with a positive rebuttal. With this in mind, how can one think they are being given a fair perspective of the story? This further reduces the reliability and credibility of their argument. Here is a clear example, http://mumbrella.com.au/acma-finds-current-affair-breach-asian-mall-story-177919

 

As noted by media programme, ‘The Chasers War on Everything’, ACA continually use techniques like slow-motion walking shots, and ‘dodgy guy’ music to create a sense of immediate angst from the audience towards the subject.

It is not accurate to assume that all of the people are unfairly represented in the programme, but knowing that some of them are raises the question of accuracy and reliability of the rest of the stories. In a study done by Australia Communications and Media Authority, it showed that only 23%of people agreed current affairs programs are always accurate with what the present. The study also claims,”….from the qualitative research, it was evident that the community was shocked as to the nature of the inaccuracies that occur in the programs. That is, the public did not expect key facts to be consciously omitted, distorted or misused, or fabricated on commercial current affairs programs.”

This could be debated in a public sphere, being able to give arguments for both sides. Although most Australian’s would not be informed about these techniques ACA uses, and therefore believe all that is shown and depicted in the article. Current affairs shows are not bad places for the public to get information, although viewers should take the information on board, with slight scepticism, as we know not everything in the article is given a neutral viewpoint. The public deserves to be shown an impartial account of the story so that we can cast our own judgements.

References:

http://www.acma.gov.au/~/media/mediacomms/Research%20library%20reports%20old/pdf/current_affairs_program_research_part-01_executive_report%20pdf.pdf

 

‘Filth has nowhere to hide?’

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Signs are very powerful forms of communication in our society. They send us messages that can be interpreted differently by many different audiences. This can be due to personal values, social groups, or cultural influences.

This image sparks an interesting discussion, mainly in the fact that the advertisement is for a cleaning product but depicts a very different image. Upon initial viewing, the denotation of the image is that the floor is shiny and clean as a result of using the cleaning product. Our eyes are then directed to the shiny floor in the middle of the picture, where upon further inspection of the reflection we can see a man and a young schoolgirl seemingly ‘talking’.

The girl is dressed in innocent school clothes, and the man well dressed in suit pants and a button up shirt. By suggesting that the man is much older than the girl and placing them together in a bedroom, something already seems off. The room is very bare and dull, and if not for the reflection it would look much more gloomy. When we closely look at the reflection, the mysterious man has come into contact with the girl and is handing her some money. The connotations surrounding this image are that the girl is a prostitute, and that the man is paying her for her services. If we look to the right, we can see that his shoes are on the floor, implying that he hasn’t had his shoes on for a period of time, further inferring that a sexual act may have taken place. This theory is reinforced as the girl is slightly lifting up her skirt, giving a somewhat sexual enticement towards the man.

When an audience first glances at this image, a feeling of innocence is definitely present. One can not be discouraged for first thinking; ‘this is a teacher talking to a student after class’ or ‘maybe a father talking to his daughter in her bedroom after a day at school.’ However, once the viewer realises the real meaning of this image, it can never be unseen. The creators used different angles and reflections in the image so that readers have to look many times to understand the true message behind it. The sheer reality of this image is what makes it so powerful, engaging the viewer and demanding a more in- depth look at the advertisement.

Garth Burley.

References: http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5138cc2feab8eaf95a000013/image.jpg (accessed 20/3/15)

Does the media effect us? Only if we let ourselves be effected.

The media is a prominent but still ever growing part of our society. Powerful and diverse forms of media surround our present world. These forms of media continually challenge and manipulate our views and ideologies, and this can have either a positive or negative effect on us. Despite being able to visually see the anti-social behaviour, both extremes of size (extremely underweight and obese) and biased reporting that new media has contributed to, we have to accept that the media is not the complete problem. People have a choice in how they moderate the media in their life. There’s no doubt that with moderated usage, new media is a very useful and exciting prospect.

One of the most evident issues surrounding the effects of the media is the limiting of social interaction. With new phones, watches and tablets increasing in technology, we are constantly looking down at our screens, captivated from what “low level” entertainment they provide. As an example, moving around on many public transport systems, I see all to often the sharp contrast between a conversation-ready elderly person without new technologies, and that of a glum, technology dependant youth. I mean, how much does it take to skip that new Kanye song and interact with the person next to you? Sadly, too much. We don’t want to be an extrovert. Now that new media surrounds everyone, it’s normal to be abnormal.

The media is not just a theme full of gadgets. There are many big media corporations who consistently manipulate our views and perspectives on various issues and current affairs. This seizes any right of the journalists to provide free speech and open debate, instead, promoting the corporations views, and not their own. It is fair to say, I’m apolitical, I have no clue which party should be in power, although from what I have seen and read in news articles, it seems the ABC is one of the biggest pro-ALP media outlets in the country and Allan Jones’s radio talk show is very liberal biased. Maybe if I wasn’t younger, and less immature, I would actually give a shit about this current situation, but in my case, I don’t. In saying that, I recognise that this is an apparent thing in modern society and a powerful tool for massive media companies to get a point to its audience. These examples in the Australian media shows how different forms of the media can seemingly, or subliminally warp and twist our notions to suit their own viewpoint.

The mind is a powerful thing. It allows us to think about things in our own way, and create new ideas to express. The media however, dominates our lives in many different forms, and our mind can be easily influenced. From the two examples i’ve provided, it is clear that their are mental anxieties surrounding the effects of the media on society. But the truth is, we are only effected if we let ourselves be effected. New media is a beautiful thing in moderation, and once we all realise how beneficial it is in small doses, we will continue to use it in a positive fashion.